RICHMOND — Luxuries are scarce in Class D baseball, so when Valley unveiled a shutdown bullpen in its 11-7 win over previously unbeaten Richmond on Tuesday, one couldn’t help but take notice.

Justin Miller and Cody Laweryson combined to hold Richmond hitless over the final 4.1 innings and give the Cavaliers their signature victory of the young season.

Miller came on to get the last out of the third inning and snuff out Richmond’s six-run rally that pulled the Bobcats within a run, 8-7. He allowed only a walk and a hit batter over the next two innings.

The Cavaliers added three insurance runs in the fifth, then the hard-throwing Laweryson came on in the sixth to slam the door, retiring six in a row, four via strikeout.

“We’ve been working with our relievers since I took over this year and they’ve come very well. We feel that’s really our strength,” Valley coach Scott Laweryson said. “I feel we’ve got enough pitchers to get us through. I don’t have to run one guy out there for six innings or anything like that. And the more they throw, the more confident they get in throwing.”

“We have good pitching overall. We have three guys who were throwing well today,” Cody Laweryson said. “And our offense was really good, especially at the start. We took control of the game.”

Laweryson led the offense with two doubles and single and scored four runs as the Cavaliers (3-1) pounded out 11 hits. Miller, Luke Malloy and Brandon Thomas each added two hits.

The Cavaliers took advantage of wildness by Richmond starter Mike Stewart to jump out to a 5-0 lead in the top of the first. Stewart walked two, hit two and threw several wild pitches. Two Bobcat errors helped keep the inning alive.

“(Stewart) just couldn’t locate today,” Richmond coach Ryan Gardner said. “We kind of gave them a bunch of runs. I mean, they hit the ball well and got some timely hitting. They put the ball in play and did some nice things to get ahead of us. We battled back and they had more relief than we did.”

Thomas’ two-run single in the second put the Bobcats (4-1) into a 7-1 hole. A Laweryson double and two wild pitches made it 8-1 in the third.

Richmond’s bats finally came alive in the third with five hits off Valley starter Malloy. Matt Rines had an RBI triple, Bailey Johansen an RBI double and Stewart a sacrifice fly. Zach Small and Cam Emmons added RBI singles before Miller took over on the mound and got Curtis Anderson to pop out to third to maintain Valley’s lead.

“I was just feeling good this game,” Miller said. “I know I have some great guys backing me up, so if I threw strikes they would do the rest.”

“We did a good job coming back and then we kind of went flat again,” Gardner said.

Rines relieved Stewart in the fourth and threw a scoreless inning to keep it a one-run game. But Valley touched him for three runs in the fifth, provided by Laweryson’s RBI double and Collin Miller’s two-run single.

Miller worked around a hit batter in the fifth before he gave way to Cody Laweryson to start the sixth.

“The hardest thing with Cody is he wants to throw all the time,” Scott Laweryson said. “He came in in the third and said ‘I want to go in,’ and I said, ‘No, just hold back, buddy. I’m going to give you the sixth and seventh.'”

Randy Whitehouse — 621-5638

[email protected]com

Twitter: @RAWmaterial33

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