Blake Neuman pitches a gem, striking out 11 while giving up two runs in five innings

CROCKER — The Richland Bears (5-12) knew they were in trouble Tuesday when their first three batters were mowed down by Crocker's Blake Neuman.

They were the first three of 11 strikeouts he would have on the night in an outing in which he gave up three hits, four walks and two runs in a 12-2 run-rule win for the Lions (9-9) in five innings at Crocker.

“He was zoned in from the first pitch,” Crocker coach Chris Long said. “He threw strikes, we made plays and hit the ball.”

Then, in the bottom of the first, the Lions backed up their pitcher with four runs. He also helped himself out by getting things started by tripling into the right-center gap to score Ty Helms.

Logan Wilson singled in Neuman and then Seth Shoemaker singled in Garret Posten.

After Neuman blanked the Bears in the second the bats got back to work with another three runs.

Neuman singled with one out and then Wilson doubled to bring him home. Then Brett Jones doubled into left-center to score Wilson. Austin Minor then scored on a passed balls.

The Bears then got a couple of hits including Dawson Andrews' hit for a RBI. Neuman hit another batter to give them their second and final run.

Crocker though, still won the inning when the Lions scored three in the bottom of the third.

Mason Boorom walked, Helms singled to center and then Neuman singled into right to score Boorom.

Wilson hit a sacrifice fly to score Helms and then Neuman scored on a passed ball.

Neither team scored in the fourth.

Then Neuman put another goose egg on the board in the top of the fifth.

“Then we do what we have all year,” Long said after the game. “Score runs with two outs.”

After the Bears were able to keep the first two batters off the basepaths, Helms reached on an error and then Wilson doubled to score him. Posten then singled to right field to score Wilson and end the game in five innings.

“All in all, it was a well played ball game,” Long said. “We seem to refuse to make the last out and score a lot of our runs with two outs. The top of our lineup is scoring runs with 10 of the 12 coming from Helms, Neuman, Wilson and Posten, our one through four hitters.”

Crocker will have a busy rest of the week with a trip to Newburg on Friday and a doubleheader in Dixon on Saturday when they play the Bulldogs and St. Clair.

Richland will host Plato on Thursday and travel to Belle on Friday.