LAURINBURG — Scotland and Richmond added another chapter to their bitter rivalry Thursday night at McCoy Field.
In fact, the two Southeastern Conference foes essentially penned an entire novel.
With the regular season SEC championship on the line, the Raiders outlasted the Scots in extra innings, winning 7-6 to secure the top seed in next week’s conference tournament.
Jonathan Lee recorded the eventual go-ahead RBI with a single in the top of the ninth inning to plate Devon Hunt. Scotland had one final chance to tie or possibly win it in the bottom of the frame, but the Raiders put together a game-ending double play when they threw out Cross Holfert at second base before gunning out Nic Charleson, who tripped attempting to round third.
Earlier in the inning, Charleson hit a deep shot to left-center field that appeared to be a home run, but the ball bounced off the top of the wall and rolled back into play. A potential home run would have tied the contest — instead, Scotland (16-6, 7-3 SEC) watched its bitter rivals storm the field in celebration after notching the double play later in the inning.
Richmond (18-6, 8-2) rallied from a 3-0 deficit through three innings to take a 6-3 lead by the end of the fifth. The Raiders were paced by RBIs from Chase Haywood and Bryce Dixon in the top of the fourth, then Hunt bombed a two-run homer over the left field wall in the fifth to give Richmond a 4-3 advantage.
The Raiders added two more runs in the inning when Haywood drilled a two-RBI double.
But Scotland didn’t go down easy — the hosts opened the game with two runs in the first inning as Holfert and Justin Bowers had an RBI apiece to give the Scots the early lead. Bowers tallied another RBI in the bottom of the third, then after going scoreless for almost three innings, Scotland tied it up when Charleson smacked a two-out, bases loaded double that brought a trio of Scots home.
Neither squad threatened until the top of the ninth when Lee’s clutch RBI single ended up being the deciding run.
Logan Martinez can be reached at 910-506-3170. Follow him on Twitter @L_Martinez13.