STANDISH — Even as the rain stopped and the sun emerged, the Richmond baseball team struggled to find its footing Tuesday.

Searsport pounded out 10 hits and took advantage of seven free passes to top the Bobcats 13-3 in five innings for the Western Class D championship at Larry Mahaney Diamond on the campus of St. Joseph’s College.

“We tried to piece together our staff. Unfortunately, we used our (No.) 1 and 2 (Mike Stewart and Zach Small) in the game before,” Richmond coach Ryan Gardner said. “We had trouble finding the plate a little bit, and when we found the plate they whacked it. I’ve got to give them credit, they made more plays than we did.”

The Bobcats turned the ball over to Brendan Emmons with Stewart and Small unavailable, and Searsport put the sophomore right-hander in a hole early. The Vikings scored a pair of unearned runs in the top of the first inning without a ball leaving the infield.

“On the bus we talked about coming right out and getting on their No. 3 pitcher hard and scoring some runs,” Searsport coach John Frye said.

Emmons struck out six through the first two innings to keep the Bobcats within striking distance, but in the top of the third the Vikings broke it open with six runs on six hits — including a three-run triple from Barrett Grant — to take a commanding 8-0 lead.

Richmond answered with three runs in the bottom half of the inning on an RBI infield single by Tyler Soucy, an error and a walk with the bases loaded, but the Bobcats ultimately stranded three as Searsport ace Troy Reynolds ended the rally with his third strikeout of the inning. Matt Rines, Brendan Emmons and Curtis Anderson each scored in the inning.

“We had a tough time early on getting going,” Richmond senior Cam Emmons said. “We didn’t really have the best day out there for anyone. It’s just an unfortunate turn of events and things just didn’t go our way.”

Reynolds was not as dominant as he can be — on the season he has two no-hitters, three one-hitters and went 44 innings to start the year before giving up a run — but still proved to be effective. Although he walked eight batters, he only allowed three runs and one hit while striking out eight.

“I don’t know what was up. I was just trying to throw strikes, it didn’t go,” Reynolds said. “It’s just tough to settle in some times, obviously a big game with really big implications. I just had to bear down and do it.”

Free passes would prove to be the Bobcats’ undoing in the top of the fourth, as Anderson and Cam Emmons combined to give up two hits, walk four Vikings and hit one batter. Searsport scored five in the inning to open up the 10-run lead necessary to end the contest after five innings.

Even though the Bobcats ultimately fell short of extending their season another game, the future remains bright as they lose just Cam Emmons and Bailey Johansen as starters off this spring’s team.

“The future is in front of us,” Gardner said. “I replace the second baseman and a (designated hitter). This game here just gave my young kids experience.”

Evan Crawley – 621-5640

[email protected]

Twitter: @Evan_Crawley