RAMSEUR — Zeke Lecomte, Claytin Beaver and Tyler Shelton registered two hits apiece while combining to drive in six runs as the Randolph Lumberkings battered Deep River 8-1 in the Old North State …
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RAMSEUR — Zeke Lecomte, Claytin Beaver and Tyler Shelton registered two hits apiece while combining to drive in six runs as the Randolph Lumberkings battered Deep River 8-1 in the Old North State League regular-season finale for both teams Wednesday night at I. Fletcher Craven Stadium.
Winning its seventh outing in a row, Randolph claimed the regular-season title by finishing 20-6-1 in the league standings, while the Muddogs fell to fourth place with a record of 14-12-1. The Lumberkings will draw a first-round bye in the league’s post-season tournament which begins Thursday, while Deep River will face the fifth-seed Guilford Blueticks in its tourney opener.
Austin Thompson, a rising freshman at Wake Tech, went five innings on the mound to pick up the victory, allowing five hits and one earned run while issuing two free passes and fanning a pair.
Austin Wells tossed two innings of hitless relief for the winners, with one walk and one strikeout.
“Thompson is normally a reliever but got his first start this evening and did a great job,” said Randolph coach Brandon Nelson. “Catcher Lino Figueroa deserves a lot of credit for Thompson’s success with his framing of the ball and pitch calling behind the plate. We had good approaches at bat tonight and hit well with people on base. This team is having a lot of fun but knows we’re not done yet. After wrapping up the regular-season title our mindset now is to stay locked in for the tournament and win out as the overall champions.”
Muddogs’ starter Clay Richardson hurled two hitless innings, striking out two, before Deep River turned to four relievers throwing an inning apiece to finish out the contest.
Parker Clayton suffered the loss after yielding four hits and four runs (three earned) while whiffing one prior to Jordan Moss allowing one hit with two walks and a pair of strikeouts.
Noah Handy surrendered five hits and four runs (three earned) while striking out one before Easton Jones pitched hitless ball in addition to fanning two.
Deep River coach Michael Milian was unavailable for comments following the game.
The Lumberkings forged a 4-0 advantage in the bottom of the third as Nate Steen was nicked by a pitch with one away and advanced to second on Tyler Bryant’s infield hit.
After Nate Vargo singled to left to load the bases, Steen dashed home on a two-out passed ball that moved the other runners up a base before Lecomte lined a two-run single to left, went to second on the throw in from the outfield and scored when Beaver notched a base hit to center.
The Muddogs tallied their lone run in the top of the fourth as Cade Culberson rapped a leadoff opposite-field single to left and came home when Jordan Cassell slammed a double off the left field fence.
Randolph proceeded to put the contest out of reach by plating four runs in the home fifth as a result of opening the frame with five consecutive hits.
Following Lecomte’s leadoff opposite-field base hit to right, Beaver launched a full-count fast ball from Handy over the left field fence for his third homer of the season.
Justin St. Amour then singled to left and raced all the way to third on a wild pitch before scoring on Shelton’s base hit to center.
After Figueroa blooped an opposite-field single to right that moved Shelton to second, both runners advanced on a double steal, with Shelton continuing home when an attempt to throw him out at third sailed into left field.