Spartans battle back to .500 mark

After spotting the visiting Higginsville Huskers an early lead, the Richmond Spartans spent most of Friday afternoon playing catch up. It wasn’t until Colby Bowles delivered a two-out infield single in the bottom of the eighth inning that the Spartans could celebrate getting back to the .500 mark.
Richmond’s 8-7 victory over the Huskers moved the Spartans to 4-4 overall, but more importantly, kept them in second place in the MRVC East with a 2-1 record. Lexington’s 2-0 mark leads the standings. Higginsville falls to 1-3 in the league and 3-5 overall.
Bowles’ infield single chased home Branden Evans with the winning run, and it was Evans who helped provide the win with his offense and his pitching. The Spartan junior shut down the Husker bats with over 3 innings of shutout relief pitching, while also hitting his first home run of the season during a 3-hit day at the plate.
Higginsville drew first blood with 3 runs in the top of the second – two of them unearned. The Spartans got a run back in the second on a Kyle Carroll double and an RBI-single from Jordan Smith. Evans’ shot over the left field fence cut the deficit to 3-2. Lance Kays belted a home run for Higginsville in the top of the fourth to help boost the Husker lead to 6-2 and chased Richmond starter Josh Isgriggs from the mound, with Trevor Nichols coming on in relief.
The Spartans got another run back in the fourth on singles by Carroll, Isgriggs and Zach McGill. Chance Albersworth’s solo home run to left-center in the fifth inning was the final Husker run of the day. Evans then took to the mound with two on and two outs to put a halt to the rally with a strikeout and a ground out.
He would allow three singles with three strikeouts for the final three frames.
The Spartans rallied to tie the game in the fifth inning. With one out, Corey Adkison singled, ahead of a double from Bowles, and singles from Carroll and Isgriggs. Smith reached on an error to force the tying run home.
Richmond had a scoring opportunity in the sixth, but left a runner stranded at third, and had two more base runners in the seventh, but came up empty to force extra innings.
Reny Reis began Richmond’s eighth-inning uprising with a walk, and with one out, Evans was hit by a pitch. Kyle Ash reached on a Husker error and Adkison reached on a fielder’s choice ahead of Bowles’ game-winning hit.
PHOTO: Richmond junior Branden Evans gets ready to hit his first home run of the season for the Spartans during the third inning of Friday’s 8-7 win over Higginsville at Southview Field. (Photo by Russ Green/The Daily News.)

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