RICHMOND BASE RUNNER Trystin Shea avoids the tag of Old Orchard Beach catcher Evan O’Donnell to score a run during a high school baseball game in Richmond on Tuesday. Shea was safe, and the Bobcats won, 5-1.

RICHMOND BASE RUNNER Trystin Shea avoids the tag of Old Orchard Beach catcher Evan O’Donnell to score a run during a high school baseball game in Richmond on Tuesday. Shea was safe, and the Bobcats won, 5-1.

RICHMOND

After receiving cheers and congratulations from his teammates, Richmond High School baseball player Zach Small didn’t take long to decide what he liked more after pitching and hitting his team to a 5-1 victory over Old Orchard Beach on Tuesday.

Small pitched a complete game for the mound win, but it was his long home run over the 353-foot sign in left field that had him most excited after his Bobcats improved to 9-1.

“I will go with the home run,” said Small, whose blast came in the sixth inning and completed the scoring. “I had never hit one there before.”

On the mound, Small permitted just an unearned run, struck out eight, walked two (one intentionally) and allowed seven hits to the Seagulls.

“We did the facets of the game right, other than picking up signs,” said Richmond coach Ryan Gardner after his team played error-free. “Zach used his curveball, and it was a great job between the battery. Just one mistake on a cross-up. That was it.”

“I have a lot of confidence in my teammates,” said the junior right-hander. “It allows me to just throw strikes. They made the plays today. We did a great job today. Credit to my defense.”

Tied early

After Small fanned two Seagulls in a 1-2-3 first frame and OOB (5-3) pitcher Kyle Allen had a perfect opening inning, Richmond claimed a 1-0 edge in the second. Danny Stewart and Brady Johnson singled with one out. An error allowed Stewart to score.

OOB tied things in the third. Dylan Creswell and Thomas Fregeau each singled, and after a pair of stolen bases and an intentional walk to clean-up hitter Evan O’Donnell, Small and catcher Trystin Shea crossed each other up, resulting in a passed ball and Creswell scoring.

Small’s double to open the fourth led to the go-ahead run, as Nate Kendrick picked up an RBI single.

The game turned in the fifth. Shea doubled and stole third. Justin Vachon tapped a slow roller to the mound, with Shea breaking to the plate. A slight bobble resulted in a close play, with Shea avoiding the tag for a 3-1 lead.

OOB coaches argued that Shea had left his feet, and after three conferences between the umpires, Shea was ruled safe.

A throwing error later in the frame allowed Vachon to score for a 4-1 edge.

Gardner was pleased with his team’s approach against Allen, who threw 73 pitches with two strikeouts.

“That kid threw 90 percent off-speed. We never see that. Searsport will do that. We didn’t buckle on the curveball, and we didn’t strike out a lot,” Gardner said.

Small launched an Allen offering on a 1-2 pitch to begin the sixth, and he closed OOB out in the seventh on his eighth punch-out with two Seagulls on base.

Small and Gardner feel playing a team like OOB, which plays out of the Western Maine Conference, is beneficial as the playoffs draw near.

“We added six of these games against the Western Maine Conference this year, just to see better pitching and different types of pitching. If you make a mistake, they will stick it to you,” Gardner said.

“When you go from playing a Vinalhaven, not to take anything away from them, these are like actual baseball games, where if you make a mistake they jump on you,” said Small, who threw 89 pitches.

Small (2-for-3) was the lone repeat hitter for Richmond, while Creswell and Fregeau were both 2-for-4 for the Seagulls.

The Bobcats return to action Saturday with a home East-West Conference doubleheader against Forest Hills beginning at 11 a.m.

Richmond 5, OOB 1

At Richmond

OOB 001 000 0 1-7-2
Richmond  010 121 X 5-6-0

Kyle Allen and Evan O’Donnell; Zach Small and Trystin Shea. WP — Small; LP — Allen. Doubles — (OOB) Kyle Allen; (R) Zach Small, Trystin Shea. Repeat hitters — (OOB) Dylan Creswell, Thomas Fregeau; (R) Zach Small. Records — Richmond 9-1; OOB 5-3. Up next for the Bobcats — Saturday home doubleheader vs. Forest Hills, 11 a.m.


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