A pair of first-year coaches faced off Saturday afternoon at McBride Stadium.
Pair of coaches with professional experience, too.
Richmond and Eaton split the baseball doubleheader, with head coach Keltavious Jones earning his first win with the program as the Eagles took the opening game 2-0.
Jones, an Augusta, Ga., native who played in the Cincinnati Reds farm system and spent time with the Dayton Dragons, was an assistant last year at Eaton.
“Everything’s been going pretty good so far, just trying to make sure the guys play hard, and consistent,” Jones said. “We’re young. We’re going to take our lumps, but we have to get the experience.”
Eaton is 1-2. Richmond won Saturday’s second game 8-6.
The Eagles displayed strong pitching and defense throughout the doubleheader.
Jones said it was a smooth transition from an assistant to head coach.
“I was familiar with the guys. They kind of knew who I was and knew my expectations,” Jones said. “Everything kind of flowed pretty good.”
Jones was an outfielder selected in the 27th round of the 2006 draft out of Darton College.
He played in 2007 and 2008 for the Dayton Dragons.
Coaching wasn’t necessarily always a goal for Jones.
“I never saw myself coaching, but after I got done playing, I was missing the game,” he said. “I just decided I need to kind of teach these guys some of the stuff I’ve learned, just kind of pass on the knowledge, and it’s been a blast.”
Richmond coach Tyler Lairson was a Division I college infielder at Southern Illinois and later played for the Southern Illinois Miners of the Frontier League.
Lairson was impressed with the Eagles.
“They’re young, and they have great, talented young kids,” Lairson said. “Coach Jones has done a great job with them. They’re a good ballclub. To scrap away with a split, especially after losing the first one, I’ll be OK with it.”
Devils on the road
Richmond went 2-1 in its opening week, with all three games played at McBride Stadium.
The Red Devils will be on the road for the first time this season when they travel Tuesday to face Connersville.
Richmond also has a game Thursday at Yorktown before returning to McBride on Saturday for a doubleheader with Pendleton Heights.
Lairson wants to see the Red Devils continue to get better.
“Lot of learning to do, but I think we’re at where I thought we would be,” Lairson said. “Arms are good. I like what I see out of the pitching. The rest will just fall in line.”