In the only other action on the day, the Bristol Badgers maintained their recent good form with a hard-fought sweep of Cambridge.
Game 1: Essex 16-6 Richmond
Game 2: Essex 16-0 Richmond
Vince Warner's no-hitter in Game 2 was the highlight of the day, but Essex dominated the Knights in every category to record two mercy-rule victories.
Richmond did get off to a fast start in Game 1, as RBIs from Patrick Igoe and John Irving gave them a 2-0 lead in the top of the first inning.
But that was as good as it got for the visitors. Matt Jennings tied things up for the Redbacks with a two-RBI single, part of a five-run first inning, and the Redbacks continued to pile on the runs.
Richmond did put up respectable offensive numbers, scoring six runs in total, but were simply out-hit by the hosts. Essex power hitter Franklin Martinez creamed a three-run homer to centre field as part of a five-RBI game, while Sam Rounce went 3-for-3 plus a walk, crossing home plate four times.
In Game 2, Essex once again put up 16 runs. But they would have only needed one, thanks to a near-faultless pitching display. Experienced starter Vince Warner threw an outstanding no-hitter, striking out seven in five innings. Warner didn't give up a walk, with only a hit-by-pitch and an error standing in the way of a perfect game.
Offensively, Essex got off to a slower start than in Game 1, but soon clicked into gear with a seven-run third inning and a six-run fourth to put an end to the contest after the top of the fifth. Franklin Martinez went deep again, for the seventh time this season, while Richard Chesterton added his second home run.
Redbacks Coach Matt Jennings said: "I was delighted to get the sweep today against our nearest rivals. A combination of great pitching and devastating hitting saw us turn around our recent disappointment of three series splits.
"Warner was near-perfect on the mound,” Jennings continued, “but he owes a small debt of gratitude to both James Leigh Cane and Sam Rounce for two excellent plays to save his no-hitter."
Game 1: Cambridge 2-5 Bristol
Game 2: Cambridge 4-5 Bristol
With five wins from their last six games, Bristol capitalised on the Richmond defeats to move to the top of Pool A.
Both games were close, low-scoring affairs, but the Badgers did just about enough offensively to support their strong pitching.
In Game 1, Luke Looney picked up the win for the visitors in his first start of the season. Looney pitched a complete game, striking out eight, walking one and giving up just two runs.
The contest was very much in the balance, with Royals' pitcher Brett Curran also turning in a strong performance. But a three-run sixth inning, with RBIs from Looney and Gian Jimenez, gave Bristol enough daylight to close out the win.
Game 2 was even closer, but the Badgers managed to keep their noses in front throughout, scoring one run in five of the seven innings.
Gian Jimenez moved to 4-0 for the season, striking out eight in seven innings. The GB player managed to help his own cause with a solo home run to left field that turned out to be the game-winning run.
Jimenez and Bristol also had some good defense to thank for the win, as when Luke Looney held on to a stinging line drive from Cambridge's Duncan Jones before firing the ball to third to complete a smart double play.
Despite recent good form, Bristol manager Tom Hollies refused to get complacent. “June sees the Badgers play Richmond four times,” he said, “and results could easily allow things to change at the top, with Oxford and Richmond eager and ready to pounce.”