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Baseball ends with doubleheader split
Wildcat John Phifer swipes a base during the Wildcats 17-9 win. - photo by Terry Logan

The night set aside for honoring RHHS seniors during the last home games turned out to typify the Wildcat baseball season: Big wins followed by close losses.

Richmond Hill’s up and down baseball season ended Friday when they beat Hephzibah 17-9, only to finish the doubleheader and their season with another one run loss, 5-4 to the visiting Rebels.

Earlier that week, the Cats split with two non region opponents. They beat Jenkins 10-8 April 21, but took an 8-2 loss to Groves two days later.

Coach Mitchell Curry has maintained that his team is one of the best he has coached at Richmond Hill, and indeed it just may be the best team not to advance to post season play that Richmond Hill fans have seen in a while.

"We were a little bit disappointed in our region play," Curry said. "We had our opportunities but lost several close games that we could have won. We ended up 3-7 and could easily have been 6-4 (Region 3-AAA), but we finished with a winning overall record (13-11). It was not a bad season."

Seniors Ben Auger, Jeremey Goolsby, Matt Graney, Nathan Kilburn, Raul Rodriguez, Alex Tucker and Logan Wolfe were honored between games. Each of them factored into the game one win.

Tucker got the start - and win - for Richmond Hill. He was the beneficiary of what has become a familiar calling card for the team - a big inning. After scoring two runs in the first, Richmond Hill exploded for 11 runs in the second inning giving Tucker and Ben Auger all the offensive support they needed.

Kilburn started the action with a stand up double and was followed by Graney’s RBI triple. Richmond Hill continued the explosion with eight more hits in the inning. Wolfe, who would triple later, chipped in next with a two RBI singles and was followed by Kilburn and Graney again to pile on the Rebels. Kilburn drove in a run and Graney followed with a double and three RBI’s, giving him two extra base hits and four RBI’s in the inning.

In the innings to follow, Tucker held off a persistent Rebel offense that kept chipping away at the lead. Six runs in the middle innings brought on Auger in the sixth, but pitching a scoreless seventh to finish it.

Richmond Hill loaded the bases in the sixth on a pair of walks and Tyler Mitchell’s fourth hit of the day. He was followed by Goolsby with an RBI single and Rodriguez with another single that drove in two more.

In spite of the loss to follow, the seniors had given their fans one more reason to cheer as they ended their high school careers.

"I told them afterward that I was proud of them and that they had played well...and they will be missed," Curry said.

The Cats will meet one more time at their post season banquet to be held May 12 at the high school.

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