RICHMOND — When Richmond side-winding lefty pitcher Mitch Couturier came to the mound in the third inning, the situation looked bleak.

The Bobcats trailed Waynflete/North Yarmouth Academy, 6-1, and starter Anders Jonsson showed no signs of allowing the hosts to mount any sort of rally through five frames.

But Couturier’s efforts — five shutout innings, no runs, two hits, two walks — were rewarded as Richmond scored three runs in the sixth and three more in the seventh for a walk-off 7-6 victory.

The Bobcats improved to 5-3, while the Flyers fell to 2-7.

“To get down, then come back while keeping our composure, and getting great relief pitching from Mitchell with a team that just doesn’t quit, this win was icing on the cake,” said Richmond coach Ryan Gardner.

The tide turned when Danny Stewart opened the sixth by working a seven-pitch walk. With one out, Chance Taylor launched his second RBI double of the game, followed by an Adam Beaulieu triple to right field. Beaulieu scored on a wild pitch to draw the Bobcats to 6-4. A walk to Ben Gardner ended Jonsson’s day (5 1/3 innings, four hits, four runs, seven strikeouts, two walks, two hit batters), with Will Jackson coming on in relief.

Jackson stranded two runners in the sixth, but there was no stopping Richmond in the seventh. With one out, Stewart (2 for 3, two runs scored) and Justin Vachon singled. An error on a Taylor ground ball loaded the bases, and Beaulieu delivered again, this time with a two-run game-tying double that landed in nearly the identical spot as his triple had an inning earlier.

“When I hit it, I thought (Flyers right fielder Miles Anderson) would catch it, but it hit in the same spot and worked out for us,” said Beaulieu.

With Taylor representing the winning run at third base, Ben Gardner came through, ripping a game-winning single on the ninth pitch of his at-bat to win it.

Coach Gardner felt his team’s ability to work the count late in the game paid dividends.

“We gave (Jonsson) a four-pitch inning. Then we started doing things a bit different, something that we had to do. You can’t allow a pitcher to have an inning where he throws under 10 pitches,” Ryan Gardner said.

“I am so proud of this team. This is huge for us. We lost to them, so to beat them today is great for us,” added Beaulieu.

 


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