The Richardson Eagles extended their winning streak to 6 games on Friday night as they ground out a 2-1 result over Berkner to move 2 games ahead of WT White in the District 9-6A playoff race. Late runs by James Monroe and Darrien Blalock proved enough as the Eagles came from behind late in the game.
Junior Will Duncan returned to the mound with a strong performance. The big right-hander allowed only 3 hits in five innings and struck out 6. Junior Dan Wood came on to close out the game with another incredibly efficient outing, striking out 4 of the last 6 hitters.
Berkner got off to a hot start with two first inning base hits. Cole Hill led off with a dribbler single just into the right field grass. A Garret Randall single to center advanced him to third on the hit and run. On the next play, a throwing error allowed Hill to score, giving the Rams the lead.
Richardson kept the bats going. Will Duncan doubled in the second, Esteban Cardoza and Grant Dodgen both singled in the third, and Grant Roberts singled in the fourth. But the Eagles remained frustrated on the basepaths and could not score. Cardoza was stranded, Dodgen forced out on a fielder’s choice when a bunt went wrong, Monroe was caught stealing and Mark Mercer was thrown out at the plate.
The breakthrough finally came in the 5th inning, when Monroe doubled, advanced on a passed ball, and then scored on the delayed steal. An inning later, a towering sacrifice fly from Caleb Combs drove in the Darrien Blalock for the winning run.
The Eagles extended several streaks that have powered them to playoff contention. They’ve won 6 in a row. Richardson pitchers have gone 5 games without yielding an earned run. Senior Esteban Cardoza-Oquendo extended his hitting streak to 8 games, while Senior Grant Dodgen extended his to 7 games.
Richardson closes out their regular season next week against district leaders Coppell. The series promises to be hotly contested, as Coppell needs to win both games to clinch the District championship while RHS needs to win one to guarantee a playoff spot.
Tuesday night at RHS is senior night, where the Eagles will honor graduating seniors Esteban Cardoza-Oquendo, Caleb Combs, Grant Dodgen, Ryan Harding and Alejandro Mejia.