R-H falls in 2A East semis

Published 12:09 pm Wednesday, June 7, 2017

Randolph-Henry High School’s varsity baseball team experienced déjà vu of an undesirable sort May 31 as its successful 20-win season came to a conclusion in the regional semifinals.

The result recalled how the 2016 campaign ended for the Statesmen.

“Exact same position and the exact same record,” R-H Head Coach J.R. Allen said of his 20-3 team.

On May 31, the Statesmen fell 4-3 in eight innings to host Madison County High School in the Region 2A East semifinals.

Randolph-Henry held 1-0, 2-1 and 3-2 leads during the game, but the Mountaineers capitalized on a couple of Statesmen errors in the bottom of the seventh inning to tie the game with two outs on the board, and then they went on to win in the eighth.

“Errors pretty much cost us,” Allen said. “We had four errors on the night, and three of them came in the bottom of the seventh.”

Pitching has been a strength for Randolph-Henry, but junior Carter Strickland struggled to be consistent through the first three innings, and senior Josh Jones took the loss after pitching innings four through eight.

On offense, the Statesmen generated four hits, including two from senior Bradford Webb and one apiece from seniors Raleigh Duffer and Kendrik Goldman.

Webb had two RBIs,  and Duffer had one, while Jones scored twice and Webb scored once.

Allen said he will remember the 2017 Statesmen for being coachable, and he will remember the seniors as leaders and big contributors to the program.

“Those guys went 40-6 over two seasons,” Allen said of the seniors. “That’s not too shabby. And Josh Jones won 75 games through his high school career, because he was a four-year member of the varsity (team).”

Jones was named the 2017 Quad Rivers Conference 34 baseball Player of the Year, and Allen received the conference’s Coach of the Year honor.

Jones was named to the all-conference team as a player playing the shortstop position. He was joined on the team by several teammates, including Duffer, as a pitcher, Strickland, as an outfielder, and junior Jordan Jones, as an outfielder.

See next week’s edition for more on Josh Jones and the Statesmen honorees.