Richmond has a confident crew when it comes to hitting.
An early three-run deficit Tuesday night didn’t faze the Red Devils. They just battled back with the bats, swinging away for an 11-5 win over Connersville at McBride Stadium.
“It was good. We got a lot of hits going,” said Richmond’s Matt Morrow, who went 2-for-3 with three RBIs and a triple. “We just executed real well and hit the pitches we needed to. On this cold day, you can’t ask for more, really.”
Connersville struck first, courtesy of a three-run home run to right field by Dylan Huffman in the top of the first inning.
The next 11 runs, though, went to the Devils.
Richmond’s Jimmy Bailey scored on a wild pitch in the bottom half of the first, and the Red Devils tied the game when Alex Rodriguez and Morrow both scored in the bottom of the third.
Morrow’s triple came during a five-run fourth that saw RHS send 10 batters to the plate.
“It was a very nice win for us,” said RHS coach Josh Amyx, whose squad improved to 2-1. “I thought their (the Spartans) pitcher did a nice job keeping us off balance for the first couple innings. Once our bats came alive, I thought we did a nice job moving some runners and doing some good things offensively.”
Blair Vanlandingham went 3-for-4 with two runs scored, an RBI and a double for the Red Devils, while Bailey and Kendal Baker each scored twice.
Rodriguez, Alex Lyons, Tanner Marlow and Payton Miracle each knocked in runs for RHS, with Miracle picking up the pitching win with four strong innings.
“I think we’re confident enough in being able to score runs that they’re not going to panic,” Amyx said. “That’s big in the game of baseball, because if you panic, you’re done.
“We preach to them, ‘One run an inning.'”
Miracle struck out four, with Tyler Slawson tossing two scoreless innings in relief, and Cameron Gibbel ending the game by inducing a double play, followed by a strikeout.
“We started off slow … but settled in,” Miracle said. “We got in a rhythm with the sticks later on.”
Added Morrow: “When we jumped on them back with that one run (in the first), I knew we were all right. It’s real important, and we want to keep it going, and keep these hits rolling.”
Brandon Hobbs had three hits and a triple for Connersville, with teammate Drew Huffman going 2-for-4.
After having its season opener postponed by the weather last week, Richmond played its first games Saturday in the Miller Invite, splitting after falling to host Noblesville before knocking off Homestead.
“It’s absolute paramount for the guys who are playing,” Amyx said of gaining early confidence. “We have some new guys in some new positions, so it’s very important for them to have success early.
“It’s even more important for our pitching staff. We’ve got a lot of guys who are new to varsity pitching, and I think they’ve done tremendously so far.”
Richmond returns to action Thursday at McBride for the second of three straight home games. The Red Devils play host at 6 p.m. to Yorktown.
They’ll also face East Central at home on April 9 at McBride.
“I was kind of nervous, first game out in front of the home crowd,” Miracle said. “Coach said I was doing form wrong, so I tried to fix that and get the job done.
“It gives us a lot of confidence for later on. We have a tough schedule this year.”