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Spartans come up short in pitcher’s duel

Spartan pitcher Shane Battagler (31) and catcher Jordan Beck let the ball roll foul on a bunt attempt by Lexington during Richmond’s 3-1 11-inning loss to the visiting Minutemen Tuesday. (Photo by Russ Green/Richmond News.)

Spartan pitcher Shane Battagler (31) and catcher Jordan Beck let the ball roll foul on a bunt attempt by Lexington during Richmond’s 3-1 11-inning loss to the visiting Minutemen Tuesday. (Photo by Russ Green/Richmond News.)

By Russ Green-Sports Editor

The Richmond Spartans had a little momentum going for them as they opened the home portion of their 2014 baseball season Tuesday against MRVC East foe Lexington at Southview Park. The Spartans chalked up victory No. 1 Monday night at Cameron after an 0-4 start before beginning league play Tuesday.

Tuesday’s game featured some bonus baseball as the Spartans and Minutemen battled for 11 innings before the visitors pulled out a 3-1 victory.

Richmond’s Shane Battagler and Lexington’s John Helm matched pitch for pitch through six scoreless innings before the Minutemen finally broke through with a run in the top of the seventh. Helm was hit by a pitch to begin the inning. He scored the go-ahead run after stealing second, and coming home on a bad-hop error.

Battagler escaped further damage by working out of a bases-loaded jam when a Lexington runner was thrown out at home for the final out of the inning.

Richmond forced extra innings with a run of its own in the home half of the frame. Quinton Maxwell drew a one-out walk off of Helm. Evan Glaze took over on the mound for Lexington and recorded the final two outs, but not before Richmond tied the game as Maxwell stole both second and third base and came home on a Minuteman error.

Kaleb Heber took the mound for the Spartans in the eighth. The Minutemen threatened in the ninth, but had two runners thrown out on the base paths before pushing a pair of runs across in the 11th on a single, a bunt single and another base hit.

The complete story is in the Thursday, April 3, 2014 Richmond News.

Click here for our E-edition and read the rest of the story.

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