In what might have been the most bizarre game of this season, or any season, the Hagerstown Tigers defeated the Richmond Red Devils 5-3 in a game played on Lloyd Michael Field on Thursday, March 28.

Richmond only had two hits, a third-inning double from Trey Pipenger and a fifth-inning single from Casey Blevins, but scored three runs. Hagerstown only had one hit, a third-inning single from Ben Williams, but scored five runs.

Game statistics tell the story. There were five walks issued by Tiger pitchers and five walks issued by Red Devil pitchers. Tiger pitchers hit three Red Devils batters. Red Devils pitchers hit five Tiger batters, including three consecutive batters in the third inning. Richmond committed four errors. Hagerstown committed three.

Richmond got out of a jam in the fifth inning by turning a double play. Hagerstown turned double plays in both the second and third to get out of trouble.

Jackson Ward was the winning pitcher; Williams was credited with a save. Jayvian Burdette took the loss for the Red Devils.

Richmond head coach Rod Mattix and Hagerstown head coach Jay Hale both said early season nonconference games are designed to identify and correct weaknesses.

“We just did not show up to hit today,” Hale said. “We will find our bats. Defensively, I thought we played well. We did not throw strikes to start the game. Ben (Williams) closed out the game strong. The early season games are a learning process, and it is nice to come out with a win, but we still have to keep working to improve.”  

“We just told the kids that you learn from games like this,” Mattix said. “We have three games in three days to open the season, so pitching will be a little thin, but these games will tell us what we have and what we need to fix. We have talent. If we can learn to fight through adversity, we could have a good year. We are building for the conference games and the postseason, and games like this help us do that.”    

Richmond (0-2)     0  0  2  1  0  0  0  3

Hagerstown (2-0)  0  1  1  3  0  0  0  5

Batteries: Richmond: D’Shawn Harper, Burdette (LP), Logan Belanga and Landon Woehrmann. Hagerstown: Wyatt Burris, Ward (WP), Williams and Collin Beaty. Richmond hits: Blevins, Pipenger. Hagerstown hits: Williams.

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A version of this article appeared in the April 3 2024 print edition of the Western Wayne News.

Dan Harney is a sports reporter at the Western Wayne News.