The Richardson Eagles dominated the Skyline Raiders 10-1 Wednesday night with a lethal combination of pitching, hitting and speed. Senior Caleb Combs got the win on the mound, yielding just one unearned run and two hits. It was Combs third dominating performance in as many outings, as the Northern Oklahoma commit continues to fuel the Eagles drive for the playoffs.
The story of the night was the continued resurgence of the Richardson bats and their ruthless and clinical application of speed on the basepaths. Junior Mark Mercer got things off to a good start in the first inning with a base hit, a stolen base and a run scored flying in from third beat the throw on a passed ball.
The second inning featured more speed, as Senior Grant Dodgen beat out a drag bunt for a base hit, moved to 2nd on a well-executed sacrifice bunt from James Monroe, and scored from second on a Mark Mercer single to center.
Some shaky defending in the bottom of the third allowed Skyline to claw back a run, and the game stayed close for a while. But the Eagles answered with a 3 run 4th inning, scoring Caden Kirk, Dodgen, and Monroe.
The fifth inning belonged to junior catcher Grant Roberts, who drove home freshman Luke Mulvey (courtesy running for Combs), and then ended Skyline's threat by gunning down their star shortstop with a snap throw to first base.
The sixth inning put the contest finally and completely out of reach. Dodgen led off with a single to right center, stole second, and then advanced to third on the overthrow. Monroe and then Mercer were hit by pitches in quick succession, loading the bases for senior TCU commit Esteban Cardoza-Oquendo. His response was a towering triple off the right field wall, driving in three runs and missing a grand slam by just a few feet. Senior Ryan Harding stepped up and drove in Cardoza-Oquendo with a single to left.
The win brings the Eagles within a game of WT White in the District 9-6A playoff race. Richardson hosts Skyline for the home leg of the series tonight at The Nest. JV starts at 5pm, followed by Varsity at 7:30.