Richmond Hill managed to find a way to a 12-11 come from behind win at Savannah Christian Monday in what has to rank as one of the team’s most memorable games they have ever played.
Junior John Johnson stroked his first career home run in the seventh inning to give the Wildcats their first lead of the game and fellow junior Jacob Thrash finished the drama with a bases loaded two strike out save in the bottom half.
Every time one of Richmond Hill’s players gave up a run, made a base running blunder, committed an error, made a bad throw or failed to move a runner - it seemed a teammate was waiting in the wings to pick them up.
Alex Tucker got the start for the Cats and gave up a first inning run to the Raiders. Jeremey Goolsby tied it up with a towering solo home run to right center field in the second. By the fourth inning Savannah Christian was playing small ball in what was becoming a pitchers duel between Tucker and SCPS starter Cheshire Joniison. They parlayed an infield hit, a couple of bunts and an error in to a four run inning - the big blow coming on a two RBI single by the Raiders clean up hitter Jordan Hill. It would be the end of Tuckers day but his team mates would bail him out.
Johnson, Nathan Kilburn and Raul Rodriguez hit back to back RBI singles in the fifth inning then Cody Rushing drove home a run with a sacrifice fly to get back their team’s four runs. Senior Ben Auger would come on to pitch in the bottom half.
The Raiders managed to re-stake the lead to five runs with a four run inning of their own, again Hill had an RBI single and was joined by Nate Sisolak with an two RBI triple. While Auger was not at his best, he also was not deterred. He worked the next inning and gave up only one run and that would be good enough to make him the winning pitcher of record. The Wildcats had just scored three runs in the top half of the sixth to close the gap.
Again it was the middle of the line up doing the damage. Tyler Mitchell singled after Cody Crow’s walk, but Crow was erased when he was caught stealing third base. A two out double by Johnson, then singles by Kilburn, Rodriguez, and Goolsby all plated runs and the Wildcats would go to the seventh inning down 11-8, but no one was hanging their heads.
With Jonathan Hester on for the Raiders to try for the save Richmond hill’s Logan Wolfe entered the game to bat. He started the inning off by hitting a hard grounder to second base that was misplayed. Crow walked for his third time in the game with one out, then Mitchell drove a two strike line drive to left for a double and the first run of the inning - leaving himself and Crow the tying runs in scoring position. Johnson’s heroics followed a two strike count also and what looked like a fastball over the plate cleared dead left field with plenty to spare. Johnson’s teammates cleared the bench to meet him at home plate. The hit made Hester the losing pitcher of record.
Until Monday, head coach Mitchell Curry appeared to be in search of a bullpen closer. Several players have pitched late in games, but not with a game on the line. Thrash may have ended the search on Monday.
The Richmond Hill Junior pitched around two infield errors and a walk to strike out the last two batters with the bases loaded, effectively getting five outs in the inning and not allowing a run.
The 4-2 Wildcats will get another good test at Jenkins tomorrow, game time 4:30 p.m. They will then be off for a week prior to heading in to the region schedule.