Richmond Hill unleashed some pent-up frustration on unsuspecting Evans as it rolled to 12-1 and 16-1 wins over the Knights Wednesday in the opening round of the GHSA Class 6A state baseball playoffs.
The Wildcats lost an opportunity to win the Region 2 championship only to drop a 1-0 decision to South Effingham last week in the rubber game of their three-game series that determined who got the No. 1 seed going into the state playoffs.
The loss to the Mustangs dropped Richmond Hill (17-14) to a third-place finish and thus sent it on the road to take on Evans. It proved to be a mismatch from the very start.
Coach Scott Strickland’s team pounded out 22 hits in the doubleheader sweep—the second game was shortened to four innings due to the mercy rule—to earn a shot at Houston County (25-6) which is the Region 1 champion and ranked No. 4 in the state.
Richmond Hill, which will be on the road for all of its playoff games, will take on the Bears in a doubleheader on Wednesday with the first game to start at 4 p.m. The second game will follow 30 minutes after the completion of the opener. The “if” game, if needed, will be played Thursday at a time to be determined.
Luke Boone and Hunter Legas proved to be too strong for Evans. Boone (3-4) pitched a four-hitter and struck out 10 in the opener and Legas (7-3) followed with a one-hitter in the nightcap.
While Boone and Legas were doing their thing on the mound the top five hitters in the lineup had their best back-to-back games of the season as Mitch Cowan, Ethan Fuller, Leighton Finley, Boone and Evan Cowan combined to go 18-for-31 while drawing five walks.
Finley was 4-for-4 in the second game with five RBI and he was 2-for-4 with an RBI in the opener. He had two doubles among his six hits.
In addition to getting a win on the mound Boone was near perfect at the plate as he was 4-for-5 in the two games while driving in four runs. Leadoff man Mitch Cowan was 2-for-6 and scored five runs, Ethan Fuller was 5-for-7 and walked once while scoring six runs and Evan Cowan managed one hit in five official at bats but he walked three times.
Catcher Payton Taylor, hitting ninth, took advantage of coming up with runners on as he drove in a pair of runs with a pair of doubles in going 2-for-6. Richmond Hill left 10 runners on base in its 12-1 win.