RICHMOND — Richmond High School baseball coach Ryan Gardner says his team is well aware of how the weather can wreak havoc early in the East/West Conference season.

Teams in the north have only recently seen the snow on their fields melt, leaving the Bobcats with a shortage of games and a backload of makeup contests.

Richmond returned to its field Tuesday, with conference newcomer Temple Academy the opponent, and the Bobcats busted out their bats for an 11-1 victory in a game shortened to five innings because of the 10-run rule.

The hosts struck for five runs in the first inning, added three more in the second, along with single runs in the third, fourth and fifth frames. The start was what Gardner was looking for.

“We have our issues, but every team has their issues,” he said. “We are kind of used to it, but we needed to get some action. It will get wild from here, with lots of games. We have six kids that can throw, which is big in Class D.”

Matt Rines was on the mound for Richmond for the first time this season. He worked around a walk in the first, and then led off the bottom of the frame by walking on four pitches from Temple starter Micah Riportella.

The Bereans righty also walked Andrew Vachon and Danny Stewart to load the bases as Riportella missed on 14 of his first 18 pitches.

Nate Kendrick came to the plate, looking for his pitch. He got it, driving the first pitch he saw from Riportella to deep right field for a bases-clearing triple and a 3-0 Richmond lead.

“I told him that if he saw the first one and liked it, to swing away, and he likes those first pitch, high fastballs, and he drove it to right field,” said Gardner.

“I was looking to put it into play,” added Kendrick of his triple. “I didn’t think it would go that far, but I was glad my teammates were able to score. That lit the fire for us. Once we get the bats going, we are tough to stop.”

Temple coach Craig Riportella acknowledged his starting pitcher had a tough game.

“Micah had a rough game (Tuesday) pitching, walked a lot of kids right off the bat and they scored,” he said. “We had some guys in unfamiliar positions, but the walks killed us.”

Trystin Shea liked the first pitch he saw as well, delivering a run-scoring single for a 4-0 Bobcats lead. Shea later scored on a wild pitch to complete Richmond’s five-run first.

From there, the Bobcats stole bases at a rapid pace. In all, Richmond swiped 12 bases.

Rines struggled in the second. He walked the No. 8 and 9 hitters to load the bases, and Micah Riportella singled to get the Bereans on the board, scoring Nick Blaisdell, who singled to lead off the inning. Rines retired Sawyer Deroche on a long fly ball to right field to end the frame.

“Matt hadn’t pitched yet, so we needed to get him out there. He gutted it out and got the job done,” said Gardner, who watched Rines get stronger after the second, throwing just 34 pitches over the final three innings and finishing with six strikeouts and just two hits allowed.

Rines retired nine straight Bereans at one point.

“We have to get the bat on the ball. We can make the plays out there when our pitching is healthy, we just need to put some hits and runs on the board,” Craig Riportella said.

Richmond extended its lead to 8-1 in the second, with Zach Small (single) and Stewart (sacrifice fly) each driving in runs. Small picked up his second RBI in the third with a long double just inside the left-field line, and a sacrifice fly ball by Damien Little plated Jon Paradis in the fourth for a 10-1 game.

The Bobcats ended the contest in the fifth. Rines doubled, stole third and trotted home on a single by Vachon off Temple reliever Nathan Riportella.

“I think we can still hit the ball more. We have only practiced outside a couple times, so it is tough to do the things that we need to do inside,” said Kendrick after his Bobcats finished with 10 hits.

Shea went 2-for-2 with two runs and three stolen bases for Richmond, with Rines and Small adding two hits apiece.

Micah Riportella went four innings on eight hits, six walks and one strikeout.

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