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The Richmond Spartans got a pretty good pitching performance from Branden Evans, but the bats could not come through in the MRVC East baseball opener Wednesday afternoon at Lions Park in Lexington.
Evans fanned 10 Minutemen, but the one run he allowed in the first inning was all the home team needed to take a 1-0 decision.
Lexington pitcher Matt Ritchie helped his own cause with a run-scoring, two-out double in the bottom of the first for the game’s only run. Ritchie picked up the victory with 4 innings of work, with Phoenix Harrison earning the save by pitching the final 3 frames.
Ritchie did not allow a hit, while walking 2 and striking out 5 to earn his first win, while Harrison surrendered the lone 2 Spartan hits with a walk and 4 strikeouts.
Evans allowed just 3 hits and a walk with a hit batter, as the Spartans slip to 0-3 for the season.
Richmond was set to grab the early lead in the top of the first inning as the Spartans loaded the bases on an error and a pair of walks, but could not get a run home. Bryce Harrison led off the home half of the first for Lexington when he was plunked by an Evans pitch.
Evans erased his miscue when he was able to pick off the base runner. However, Justin McCarroll reached on a one-out single for Lexington, and then came home when Ritchie delivered a double to right center.
Colby Bowles drew a one-out walk in the third, and Kyle Ash followed with a single, but the Spartans could not get a run home. Kyle Carroll was left on base in the fourth inning after reaching on a one-out single, and Bowles was stranded in the fifth following a two-out single.
Richmond had one more threat in the sixth after Eric Moses opened the inning with a walk, followed by a Cory Adkison single, but Harrison was able to retire the next three Spartan batters to escape any damage. Harrison then retired the side in order in the seventh to help boost Lexington’s overall mark to 3-0.