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Riley homers lift Raiders over Patriots

March 28, 2014

BY THOMAS HAYS
sports@dailytimesleader.com

After falling to the Winston Academy Patriots Tuesday, 7 - 5, the Raiders were looking to bounce back in a rematch with their conference foe Wednesday night at home. Only starting 1-4 in District 2-AA, the Raiders were looking to show that they belong in the playoff conversation.
“We feel like we are good enough to be in the top two teams in our district,” Head Coach Marion Bratton said. “While we haven’t exactly gotten off to a hot start, we have battled. When we have won, we have looked great. The games that we’ve lost, we let it get away from us with a couple of bad innings, but that comes with us not being on the practice field that much. At the end of the day, the sun’s going to come up tomorrow, and we have to get back on the field and compete.”
Behind two home runs and five RBIs from cleanup hitter Drake Riley, the Raiders routed the Patriots 15-5 in the rematch. Not to be outdone, senior Joseph Caskey smacked three doubles while driving in five runs.
“Drake and Joseph came through for us tonight,” Bratton said, “We got some runners on in front of them, and they did a good job of sitting on their pitch and driving those runs in.”
The Raiders got on the board early in the bottom of the first inning with a two RBI double from Caskey. While the patriots scratched in the second, the Raiders hung a five spot in the bottom of the inning, thanks to a three-run shot from Riley, and a stand up RBI double from sophomore designated hitter Caleb Roberson. Some good hitting and a couple of walks led to a four-run third inning from Winston to put the score at 7-5 heading into the bottom of the third. After the Raiders and Patriots both went quietly in their at-bats, Riley woke the crowd back up with a long solo shot to right center giving the Raiders an 8-5 lead in the bottom of the fourth inning.

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