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There was very little doubt when the ball flew off the bat of David Richards as to where it would land. Gravity brought the ball back on South Street beyond the left field fence and Richards’ 2-run blast in the top of the sixth spoiled the home opener for Richmond as the Spartans fell to Grain Valley 4-3 Thursday at Southview.
Richards’ home run was one of the few mistakes made by Richmond starter Branden Evans.
Evans surrendered just 3 hits while striking out 4 and walking 3 in his 7 innings. The Eagles grabbed an early 2-0 lead in the top of the second inning on a walk, a bloop single and an error.
Meanwhile the Spartan bats had trouble against Eagle starter Payton Bosserman.
The Grain Valley junior sailed through the first few innings as he retired nine of the first 12 batters he faced.
Richmond began to get better swings in the fourth inning and drew a pair of walks, but could not dent the scoreboard.
The Spartans finally broke through in the home half of the fifth as Caleb Benhardt led off with a walk, and with two outs, Colby Bowles coaxed a walk, followed by another free pass to Eric Moses.
Corey Adkison then drilled an 0-2 pitch just down the third base line followed by Kyle Carroll’s shot off the pitcher’s leg as Richmond grabbed a 3-2 lead.
That lead held until the next plate appearance for the Eagles as Austin Goldsmith reached on a one-out walk ahead of Richards’ blast to left.
Evans bounced back to retire the final five batters he faced, but Jake Talamonte earned the save for Grain Valley as he retired all six Spartans he faced.
The Spartans collected 4 hits in the game with Josh Isgriggs and Zach McGill also reaching on singles. Moses drew a pair of walks for Richmond, now 0-2 for the young season.
Richmond is scheduled to host Cameron Monday.
PHOTO: Richmond junior Branden Evans pitched well in a loss for the Spartans Thursday in their home opener. Evans allowed just 3 hits and 3 walks in a 4-3 loss to visiting Grain Valley. (Photo by Russ Green/The Daily News.)