Richmond comes out of the Bob Haustetter Classic on a roll.
The Red Devils went 3-0 in the weekend baseball event at McBride Stadium, taking victories off Ohio squads Massillon, Lima Central Catholic and Wayne.
New Castle, a fellow North Central Conference program, also went 3-0.
“That speaks highly of our conference,” said RHS coach Josh Amyx. “Our conference is going to be tough, and these types of things, the tournament itself and the one-run ball game late at night (with Wayne), that gets us ready for the conference season.”
Richmond opens its conference schedule with Saturday’s doubleheader at Kokomo. The Red Devils also play host Thursday to Lincoln in non-conference action.
They spent a late night at McBride this past Saturday.
First pitch for the Richmond-Wayne contest was at 10:40 p.m., with the final out recorded at 12:03 a.m. The game was shortened to five innings because of the start time.
But, it was still a grand finale for Richmond. The Red Devils halted their Ohio foe 4-3, with Kristian Rodriquez getting the final out on a swinging strike.
Rodriquez pitched one inning in relief. He struck out two and picked another runner off first. Wayne had the potential tying run standing on third base when Rodriquez ended the game to lift RHS to 7-4 overall.
“My arm felt pretty good. I was just out there throwing as hard as I could, and it worked,” Rodriquez said.
The senior also said the late start time did not bother his squad.
“We got the win. I’m glad with that,” he said.
“It doesn’t really feel late when you play. It’s just it was extra cold. When you got warmed up, you don’t really notice how late it is. You just play the baseball game. You try to win.”
Just as they did during their previous two victories this weekend, the Red Devils got on the scoreboard early.
Jimmy Bailey and Matt Morrow each knocked in first-inning runs, with Kendal Baker plating another RBI in the second. Bailey scored on a throwing error in the third inning.
Bailey went 2-for-2 with a double and a triple to complete a successful Classic for the RHS senior. He hit a home run in Richmond’s 11-3 win Friday night over Massillon, and tripled with two runs scored and two RBIs in Saturday afternoon’s 9-5 victory against Lima Central Catholic.
The Devils ended a three-game slide with their Classic showing. Tanner Marlow added a double in the win over Wayne, while Tyler Slawson gave RHS a solid starting performance.
Slawson continued the trend of strong pitching for Richmond.
“Our starting pitching this weekend has been great,” Amyx said. “All of our pitchers kept us in the ball game long enough for our bats to do some talking.”
The Classic will become an annual event for RHS baseball, though the format could be tweaked.
“I absolutely love it,” Amyx said of the Classic. “I think we look in the future to make it a bracketed thing, to where we can have a championship game. For six teams to come in here and get three games apiece in two days, it’s great for our community, great for everybody involved.”
Jerry Middleton was behind the plate Friday night as New Castle standout Trey Ball tossed scoreless baseball in the Trojans’ 10-0 six-inning victory over Wayne.
Many major league scouts were in attendance.
The veteran umpire said the New Castle senior can “flat-out bring it” when he pitches.
“He’s a good kid. Good athlete,” Middleton said.