BY THOMAS HAYS
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.
â€śWe feel like we are good enough to be in the top two teams in our district,â€ť Head Coach Marion Bratton said. â€śWhile we havenâ€™t exactly gotten off to a hot start, we have battled. When we have won, we have looked great. The games that weâ€™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 sunâ€™s going to come up tomorrow, and we have to get back on the field and compete.â€ť
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.
â€śDrake and Joseph came through for us tonight,â€ť Bratton said, â€śWe got some runners on in front of them, and they did a good job of sitting on their pitch and driving those runs in.â€ť
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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