RICHMOND — A few timely hits, a solid relief outing from Mike Stewart and mistake-free play in the field added up to a season-extending victory for the Richmond High School baseball team on a sunny Saturday afternoon.

Stewart pitched four scoreless innings in relief of Zach Small, then delivered a clutch RBI double with two outs in the fifth inning to bring home the eventual game-winning run, and top-seeded Richmond held off Valley 4-3 in a Western D semifinal.

“We battled,” Richmond coach Ryan Gardner said. “Valley always gives us fits and they did today. It was a great game. We hung on and got it done.”

The Bobcats (15-3) will next meet No. 2 Searsport (14-4) in the regional final at 6:30 p.m., Tuesday at St. Joseph’s College in Standish.

Valley, which received a gutsy pitching performance from Cody Laweryson, finished 9-7.

“It was a great season,”Valley coach Scott Laweryson said. “These guys deserved to go further, but this is where it ends.”

Stewart struck out four and allowed just one hit — a two-out double to Laweryson in the top of the seventh — to earn the victory.

“I’m happy with how I threw,” he said.

Richmond scored runs in the first and third innings without the benefit of a hit to take a 2-0 lead before Valley stormed back in the fourth to chase Richmond starter Small, who gave the Bobcats three strong innings.

The Cavaliers loaded the bases with nobody out thanks to a couple of walks, and freshman Dillon Beane delivered a two-run single on a 3-and-2 count to tie the game at 2-all. A wild pitch later in the inning gave Valley a 3-2 lead.

It stayed 3-2 until Richmond surged ahead for good in the fifth.

Brendan Emmons started the rally, which came with two outs, with an opposite field triple to right. After he came home on a wild pitch to tie game at 3-3, Tyler Soucy reached an on error and then stole second.

Stewart then came to the plate and sliced a 2-and-2 fastball to right field for an RBI double.

“Cody throws hard,” Stewart said. “I got ahead in the count so I was sitting fastball. I knew a fastball was coming and I was a little late on the swing but got it in play. It was a great feeling.”

Stewart closed the door in the sixth and seventh innings, but wiggled out of a few jams.

Valley put runners on second and third with one out, but No. 9 hitter Gabriel Pullen lined into a double play to end the threat. An inning later, Stewart struck out Jonathan Miller with Laweryson standing on second to end the game.

“That double play was huge,” Stewart said.

Added Gardner: “Zach gave us a quality start and then Mike came in and shut the door.”

The Bobcats made several big plays in the field.

In the top of the first, center fielder Tyler Soucy threw out Collin Miller at the plate on a single from Jonathan Miller. Soucy threw a strike to catcher Brendan Emmons, who absorbed a collision from Miller but held on to the ball.

“Coach always said the only time we should come up firing is if we field the ball cleanly,” said Soucy, who reached base twice, scored a run, drove in another and stole three bases. “I didn’t know how significant that play was until the sixth or seventh inning. It was huge. It was a difference-maker.”

Laweryson went the distance for the Cavaliers. He struck out 10 and allowed five hits.

“He pitched great,” said Scott Laweryson, Cody’s father. “It’s the longest he’s pitched all season. We don’t want to rely on just one guy, but we knew we would need him today. It’s a tough loss, but we had a great season.”

Bill Stewart — 621-5618

[email protected]

Twitter: @billstewartmtm

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