Rebels break even in X-tra Innings Tournament

Friday, April 1, 2005

Riverside continued their up and down season last week by splitting a pair of games in the X-tra Innings Tournament, beating Flippin 10-5 on Friday at Trumann before dropping a 15-4 decision to Des Arc Saturday afternoon at Valley View.

The Rebels began the tournament with a delayed start as they played in cold, blustery weather due to a morning rain delay.

Riverside overcame an early 3-1 deficit to take a 5-3 lead entering the fifth inning before scoring four more runs to break the game open on their way to the win. The Rebels pounded out eight two-out RBI hits in the game, led by Anthony Reece who had two hits and three RBIs. Cody Richardson and Garrett Weaver also had multiple hit games with two hits each while Kris Kelton delivered an RBI single and Kevin Winford blasted a double off the left centerfield fence. Glen Graham and Caleb McCLuskey rounded out the Rebel attack with a hit apiece.

Jeremy Mann picked up the victory on the mound, going six strong innings for the Rebels, before Tyler Timms pitched the seventh to close out the game and give the Rebels their fourth win of the season.

"We had a lot of clutch hits against three very good pitchers that threw the ball well," said Riverside Coach Kevin Hall. "We are maturing, and when Jeremy and Tyler get good defense behind them, they will get the job done."

The Rebels didn't fare as well against Des Arc, as Riverside committed 10 errors and gave up 13 unearned runs, a trend that has happened in three of their four losses this season. Riverside jumped to an early lead as senior Kevin Winford went deep in the second inning, giving the Rebels a 1-0 advantage, before big 6'7" freshman first baseman Glen Graham smashed another solo homer in the third, giving Riverside a 2-0 edge.

But then the wheels started coming off for the Rebels defensively, and the Eagles took full advantage of their opportunities in addition to banging out timely hits, as they built a 15-2 lead on their way to the win.

"We didn't make a routine play," said Riverside Coach Kevin Hall. "We have to do that to win ball games. We only had three hits before the seventh inning, and our defense was terrible. We made 10 errors and gave up 13 unearned runs. That just kills your starting pitching. We have a bad tendency to make errors in bunches. We are 4-4 on the year and in our wins we have played good defense and in the four losses we have combined for over 30 errors."

Winford led the Rebel attack with two hits, while Graham, Timms, Jeremy Mann, Anthony Reece and Caleb McCLuskey all had one hit apiece. Timms suffered the loss for the Rebels, despite giving up only two earned runs.

"We are a very young team, and we are still learning," said Hall. "I am still trying to figure out where to put everyone defensively, and when we finally get settled, I think we will be a very good team. We have only had five practices, but I have been pleased so far and we are getting better."

Riverside is scheduled to play Monday at Caraway in a conference doubleheader against Turrell. The Rebels will resume conference action Tuesday with another doubleheader with Marked Tree.

Riverside will host Hoxie in non-conference action Wednesday at Lake City before traveling to Osceola Thursday for another non-conference contest. Riverside will remain on the road Friday as they travel to Lepanto to face East Poinsett County in another conference tilt. The Rebels close out the week Saturday with a non-conference doubleheader with Rivercrest at Lake City at noon.

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