Riverside's baseball season ended the way it started, with a loss. The Rebels saw their season come to a close as the Buffalo Island Central Mustangs rolled to a 14-2 six inning victory in the opening round of the Class AA Region 4 high school baseball tournament Saturday at Monette.
Brandon Ballard (8-1) fanned 10 Rebels and allowed only three hits to gain the pitching win for the Mustangs.
Former, Rebel Preston Despain belted a three-run homer to send Riverside home and advance BIC to Monday's second round. Despain finished 3-for-5 while driving in four runs.
Josh Shephard, Matthew Ibanez, and Brooks Taylor, also drove in two runs each to lead the Mustang attack.
Tyler Timms, Michael Dewitt, and Kris Kelton had the only Rebel hits. Riverside trailed 7-0 heading into the fifth before rallying with their only two runs, but Kevin Winford's long drive with two runners aboard was hauled in by BIC centerfielder Josh Nettles to end the threat. The Reels went down one two three in their sixth before Despain's homerun evoked the 10 run rule and ended the game.
Earlier in the week the Rebels lost two tough games in the semifinals and consolation game of the District Tournament at Marked Tree.
In Monday's semi-final game the Marked Tree Indians edged the Rebels 8-7. The Indians scored four runs on five hits with two outs in the bottom of the fifth to grab an 8-3 lead only to see Riverside battle back with four runs of their own in the top of the seventh.
Riverside had the tying run at third with two outs before Andy Long came in to get the final out and preserve the win for Marked Tree.
The Rebels put together three consecutive two out RBI hits to pull within one, but couldn't get the fourth that would have tied the game.
Michael Dewitt went 3-for-4 with three runs scored plus an RBI to lead the Rebels.
Alex Smith was also 3-For-4 with three RBI's while Matt Owens went 1-For-4 with an RBI.
In Tuesday's consolation game, Cross County out-slugged the Rebels 15-9 to claim third place.
The Thunderbirds banged out 23 hits and scored five runs in the top of the seventh to pull away from the Rebels and secure the win.
Tyler Timms led Riverside at the plate with two hits and three RBI's. Matt Owens had two hits and a pair of runs batted in while Matt Snyder and Michael Dewitt added two hits each.
The rebels closed the year with a 9-17 record overall, while going 7-1 and tying for first in conference play.
"We are looking for big things from next year's team," said Rebel Coach Kevin Hall.