The Richmond Oilers’ baseball team has two wins this year and they’re both against their crosstown rival, the Kennedy Eagles. On Wednesday the lineup with “R” on their hats used eight walks and one hit-by-pitch to squeeze out a 7-6 victory.
Eagles’ head coach Tim Logan said he pitched first-time player Gerald Cannon because five of his regulars had to hang up their cleats for academic reasons. “I like what I saw,” Logan said of Cannon’s two-plus innings of curveballs, knucklers and splitters. “He’s been out [of baseball] for two years. So for him to come in and help out, and do what he can do [was huge].”
Kennedy outhit Richmond five to four, but only cracked the Oiler’s starting pitcher Armando Gomez with their last at bat. During the middle innings Gomez dominated as the southpaw mixed fastballs and curves to retire 14 straight Eagles’ batters.
“I lost my control,” Gomez said about his subpar seventh inning performance. “I didn’t let a [Kennedy] base runner on for three innings and then being in the stretch for the first time threw me off.”
Kennedy scored four of their six runs in the last inning off three hits and one past ball.
“I thought that we played six-and-three-quarter innings of quality baseball,” said Oilers’ head coach Deryk Hudson after the game. “But we got complacent at the end because we wanted it to be over. Toward the end of the game you have to play the same way as the beginning. One of the hardest things to do is to finish anything.”
“It’s been painful knowing that the kids didn’t take care of their business outside the game of baseball—so I’m a little hurt by it,” Logan said between innings about his players not hitting the books after school. “But I’m proud to have enough players to finish out the season. Next year I’m looking to take over the league and smoke everybody.”
Kennedy’s next game is today at home against De Anza, while Richmond travels to Hercules.