'Shot in the arm': Richards' complete game leads 'Cats past Packers

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Shane Thomas, The Valdosta Daily Times, Ga.
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Mar. 16—VALDOSTA — Senior left-handed pitcher William Richards pitched a complete game shutout as Valdosta (8-7) edged Colquitt County (5-8) 2-0 Monday night.

With Richards not giving the Packers much to feed off of, the 'Cats just needed to find some offense.

In the bottom of the sixth inning, with Cole Porter and Jy'Kel Davis on base and two outs, senior catcher Lamonte Lindon came to the plate looking to give the 'Cats a spark.

Lindon delivered a two-run RBI double to put the 'Cats in front 2-0.

From there, Richards slammed the door on the Packers. After Gavin Steptoe was thrown out at third base, Richards struck out Henry Underwood and got Jackson Avera to line out to close the game.

Richards allowed five hits with four strikeouts and two walks and of the 96 pitches he threw on Monday, he threw 64 for strikes.

"Will Richards was a shot in the arm for us," Porter said of the senior pitcher. "He just did a tremendous job. We ask him to go out there and throw strikes, force contact and that's exactly what he did. He forced contact early. We made defensive plays. It's easy for us to play defense behind a guy that's not walking folks, a guy that's forcing contact and forcing the issue. That's what Will did. He kept constant pressure on them by continuing to be in the zone. That allowed our defense to play well tonight. I was thoroughly impressed with Will's outing. I was very happy to see Wildcat baseball tonight — making routine plays, being very fundamental and coming away with the W."

Offensively, Valdosta finished with three hits and drew six walks on the night.

With the win, Valdosta snapped a three-game losing streak and went over .500 on the season.

"We did things that we haven't done over a week-and-a-half span — put the ball in play, force (the Packers) to make plays and we were just very good at being offensive players tonight and not really trying to go up there and come up with the huge hit in the gap or anything," Valdosta head coach Brad Porter said. "We did a good job of being good offensive players and not being greedy."


Valdosta travels to face Northside (Warner Robins) in a region doubleheader on Friday. First pitch is scheduled for 4:30 p.m.

"A game like this is a shot in the arm," Porter said. "William did such a great job for us. We've had — for the last week-and-a-half, two weeks — five starters out with injuries. We're starting to get those guys slowly back to start contributing and with Will's outing, it sets our pitching rotation up to be rested going into this Friday. It's a shot in the arm. When you're winning, everything is better. Food tastes better, the water's cleaner and we just feel good about what we did tonight. It's a good step forward to go into Friday night in a series we need to play well in. It'll get us off to a good week of practice, we hope, and set us up for good stuff Friday."