Division 2 Team Of The Week: Week 5 - Richmond


Bruce Hefflinger and Dylan Hefflinger
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Division 2 Team Of The Week: Week 5 - Richmond

RICHMOND - After reaching the Division 3 state semifinals a year ago, Scott Evans “wasn’t sure what to expect this season” with a move up to D-2.

The head coach is getting a better understanding of what his team can do, however, after winning three of four games this past week, helping Richmond earn the honor of Prep Baseball Report Division 2 Team of the Week.

“We had some unpredictable seniors come through carrying us early in the season hitting the alleys and providing big RBIs,” Evans said in reference to Dylan Parker and Ryan Nettles, a St. Clair Community College commit. “When we hit, we hit in bunches. Our losses have been one-run games when we haven’t been able to manufacture runs.”

A 12-7 win over Marine City and 5-0 blanking of Chippewa Valley highlighted last week’s performance that moved the record of the Blue Devils to 12-5 entering play this week.

Hudson Davenport is the leader for a team that has shut out the opposition in eight games this year.

“He’s our number one pitcher and has had a solid year,” Evans said of the Eastern Michigan commit. “When he’s on the mound we have a lot of confidence we can beat anybody.”

The second-rated senior third baseman in the state can do it at the plate as well, just missing a cycle against Marine City in a game played at Comerica Park. The 6-4 240-pounder needed a home run to complete the cycle but a shot just went foul before walking in his final at-bat of the game.

Help on the mound for the two-way standout is what Evans is looking for right now.

“We’re waiting for a clear number two to evolve,” Evans related. “We have a number one and then a bunch of role pitchers.”

Skyler Lowers is the number two at the present, according to the Richmond head coach, with Brice Wesley, Anthony Bonnetti and Nettles in the mix to be the go-to pitcher behind Davenport. Wesley is a junior who starts at shortstop, Bonnetti is the second-rated freshman right-handed pitcher in Michigan and Nettles a senior southpaw.

“Finding a number two is key,” Evans pointed out. “Good pitching beats good hitting, I’ve found that out in 30 years of baseball. We’ve got to find a two and three.”

Wesley is joined in the middle of the infield by junior Trey Taylor while another 11th-grader playing an important role is left fielder Jackson Jones, “our second most consistent player,” according to Evans, who tops the team in RBIs after leading the Blue Devils in slugging percentage last year.

Joey Parinello, the 33rd-ranked senior catcher in Michigan, “stirs the drink for us,” Evans said. “He provides great leadership.”

The St. Clair Community College commit, who led Richmond in hits last season, belted a home run at Comerica Park this past week.

Division 2 state runners-up in 2013 and 2014, Evans knows what is needed to make a big run again this year.

“Championship teams carve out wins,” Evans said. “We lost to Liggett 4-3 in the semifinals last year when they took advantage of every mistake we made. We learned we can play with them but they showed us how to bunt and execute. Now our kids are starting to buy into it.”

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