Richland’s Game 2 starter closes out bi-district win over Arlington

Posted Saturday, May. 03, 2014  comments  Print Reprints

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The setup for Richland’s bi-district-series-clinching 7-4 victory Saturday over Arlington began after the first inning of Friday’s Game 2.

After Richland (24-9) jumped out to a 5-0 lead in Game 2, Rebels coach Chuck Wells paid particular attention to starting pitcher Brandon Maine’s pitch count in case the right-hander was needed for the decisive Game 3.

Richland scored 10 runs in five innings of Game 2, and Maine pitched for all but the final out, throwing an efficient, 66-pitch no-hitter for 4 2/3 innings in the 10-0 run-rule victory.

“[Maine’s] a battler. We knew he could give us a chance,” Wells said.

Saturday at QuikTrip Park, the Rebels followed Friday’s pattern.

In the fifth, Richland posted five runs to take a 5-2 lead over Arlington (21-9-1).

Wells said he knew Maine had at least two innings of work in him, so he gave Friday’s starter the closing nod Saturday with two outs in the sixth inning.

Maine did the job, throwing 22 pitches, allowing one run on three hits with four strikeouts.

On offense, one play changed the momentum for Richland (24-9), which trailed 2-0 early in the game, and sparked the five-run fifth.

With an 0-2 count, catcher Hayden Turkington dropped a bunt down the third-base line, moving runners to third and second.

Turkington, however, turned the would-be sacrifice bunt into a single, sliding head first into the bag to assure the hit.

“It’s a Turk special,” Turkington said. “I usually just sac it down. I’m not usually safe.”

Wells said he was going to pinch-hit for Turkington but changed his mind when he saw there was a sacrifice situation.

With the bases loaded, right fielder Ricky Perez lined a single into right, scoring one run. That was followed by a center fielder Trent Clark’s bases-clearing triple.

Richland plated their final two runs in the seventh, driven in by two singles.

The Rebels advanced to the area round to play the winner of Midland and El Paso Franklin.

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