RICHMOND — There was an edge to the Richmond baseball team when it took the field Saturday morning against Rangeley. The Lakers, after all, beat the Bobcats the last time the two teams played, which coach Ryan Gardner wanted to remind his players.

Not that they had forgotten it anyway.

“It’s fuel for us,” he said. “You’ve got to use that. It stung … and we use that. ‘Remember, up there, we came out flat, and they stuck it to us.’ ”

That wasn’t an issue Saturday. Richmond charged out of the gates, putting seven runs on the board in the first inning and cruising to a 12-4 victory over Rangeley in a Class D East/West Conference matchup.

“We wanted this one. We wanted to set the tone, and beat their 1 and 2 (pitchers),” said Gardner, whose team improved to 3-1. “It does stick. If somebody beats you, that’s sore, and you’ve got to wipe it clean.”

Richmond scored nine runs before Rangeley countered, taking advantage of five Laker errors to turn the game into more of a replica of the teams’ other game last year, a 14-4 Bobcats victory in Richmond.

“Our (problem) is our errors, and last time we came down here, they 10-run-ruled us and it was the same thing,” said Rangeley coach Jeff LaRochelle, whose team fell to 1-1. “These guys are good, and that’s what’s going to happen with good teams when you put guys on base. … When you play these guys or Searsport, they make you pay. You can’t give them five, six or seven outs. You’re going to pay.”

The mistakes started right away in the bottom of the first as Richmond went to work against Ricky Thompson, who pitched Rangeley to a 10-9 win last year. Matt Rines reached on an error, Brendan Emmons (2-for-4) beat out a slow roller to third and Zach Small (1-for-1, three runs, RBI) walked to load the bases. Tristan Shea then walked, Nate Kendrick was hit by a pitch and Danny Stewart reached on an infield single to make it 3-0.

Thompson bounced back with a pair of strikeouts, but No. 9 hitter Ben Gardner laced a single to score Shea (1-for-3, two RBI, two runs) and Kendrick (two runs, two RBI), and Stewart came home on a wild throw to third on the same play to make it 6-0. Gardner came in himself when Rines followed by beating out an infield single.

“Our bats were kind of cold. It was nice to get things going with a big inning,” coach Gardner said. “We were getting positive things from a whole bunch of kids. It’s nice to see it all come together.”

Richmond added two in the second, with Small walking and scoring on an error and Stewart (2-for-4, two RBI, run) picking up an RBI single. Rangeley fought back with four runs in the fourth, cutting the deficit to 9-4, but Shea had an RBI triple and Kendrick had a sacrifice fly off reliever Bo Beaulieu in the fourth and Small singled in Gardner (1-for-3, two runs, two RBI) in the fifth.

Of the 12 runs Richmond scored, only six were earned.

“If we can keep it to 6-4, 6-5, their strategy’s different, they’re not as aggressive on the bases,” LaRochelle said. “That’s the thing when you play good teams. And we struggled. … Our bats were quiet against Temple Academy (in a 5-4 win) and they were quiet here.”

After striking out eight times through three hitless innings, Rangeley showed some life against starter Zach Small in the fourth, with Richmond this time making three errors and Cal Crosby’s two-run single leading a four-run outburst.

“It’s keeping everything together and keeping your emotions in check. I think we lost our emotions in one inning,” said coach Gardner, who gave the ball to Rines for the final three innings. “Got on each other a little bit, and if that’s going to happen, you’d like for it to be in a 12-4 win.”

Drew Bonifant — 621-5638

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Twitter: @dbonifantMTM