A road that thus far has been filled with potholes got a little rougher for the Richmond Hill baseball team Tuesday night when Lowndes County cruised to a 10-0 win at Wildcats Field.
It was the Region 1-7A opener for both teams and it was another long night for the Wildcats (6-10) who dropped their third straight game as the Vikings (6-9) got off to a solid start in their quest for a fourth straight region championship.
The two teams will conclude the three-game series with a doubleheader at Lowndes on Friday. Next week Richmond Hill will be at home on Monday against Brunswick in the opener of a non-region series. The Wildcats will be at Brunswick on Wednesday and then take on the Pirates at home on Friday.
It was another frustrating night for Richmond Hill which is struggling to score runs and missed out on a couple of opportunities due to a failure to come up with a hit in clutch situations.
The Vikings struck for four runs in the first inning against Blayne Newman (2-4) and never looked back as Ashton Bohler gave up only three hits and struck out seven. Richmond Hill left six runners stranded in the first four innings.
“That’s kind of been our MO this year, not producing with runners on base and putting ourselves in a hole to start the game,” first year Hill Thomas said. “You can’t walk seven people in a game and expect to be in it, especially when you’re not doing the same.
That’s kind of been the gist of it. We give free passes, but we don’t take free passes and when we do have opportunities we don’t capitalize.”
Newman, a South Carolina- Aiken signee, saw the Vikings score all their first inning runs on only two hits, one a two-run double by Coleman Lewis, in sending 10 batters to the plate.
That was more than enough for Lowndes against a Wildcats team which is averaging only 3.3 runs per game, scoring four or fewer runs in 10 of its 16 games to date. Richmond Hill is hitting .246 as a team. The win snapped a sixgame losing streak for the Vikings.
“I know their record is not what their talent is,” Hill said of the Vikings, “but they have played some hard teams.
“It’s going to be tough going down there Friday,” Hill said. “We’re going to a place none of these kids have ever been, it’s a three and a half hour bus ride which factors into it, we’ll be playing on a turf surface which we haven’t played on this year.
“There’s all these obstacles we can make an excuse for or we can just show up and go to work.”