Riverside rode the arm and bat of Tyler Timms to an 11-8 victory over Marked Tree in a split of a 3AA North Conference doubleheader Tuesday afternoon at Caraway. Timms went five innings, striking out six, walking three, while giving up five runs on six hits before Shawn Mathews came in to pitch the final two innings to notch the save and preserve the win for the Rebels.
Timms also led the Rebels at the plate with two hits and three RBIs as Riverside, 7-6 overall and 4-1 in 3AA South play, salvaged the second game of the day-night doubleheader.
The Rebels struck first as Timms laced an RBI single, driving home Garrett Weaver, who had singled with one out to give Riverside an early 1-0 lead.
Marked Tree bounced back in the bottom of the second, scoring a run on an RBI hit off the bat of Ron Thompson to make the score 1-1 after two innings of play.
Riverside scored seven times in the top of the fourth as they benefitted from three straight Indian errors to start the inning. With the bases loaded, Shawn Mathews hit a sacrifice fly, driving in the go ahead run as the Rebels took a 2-1 lead. Garrett Weaver then laced an RBI double, which plated Caleb McCluskey, who had reached on an error, to make it 3-1 Riverside. Jeremy Mann was then hit by a pitch, loading the bases again. Anthony Reece drew a walk, forcing home Glen Graham, as the Rebels increased their lead to 4-1. Timms then plated another run on a fielder's choice, scoring Weaver, to make the score 5-1, and then Marked Tree made their fourth error of the inning as Rebel Mann scored to make it 6-1. Kevin Winford lined an RBI single, plating Reece, as the Rebels built their lead to 7-1, before McCluskey bounced into a force play, plating Timms, and the Rebels looked to be in complete control leading 8-1 after 3 innings of play.
However, Marked Tree fought back in their half of the fourth, as they scored four runs of their own with the big blow coming when Thompson laced a two run, two out triple to cut the Riverside lead to 8-4. Mickey Scott drove home the fourth Indian run of the inning with a base hit to cut the Rebel advantage to three, 8-5.
The score remained 8-5 until the top of the seventh when Riverside put a three spot on the board. The big hit came off the bat of centerfielder Jeremy Mann, who drilled a two run, two-out single, to increase the Rebel lead to 10-5. Timms then followed Mann with another RBI hit to give the Rebels an insurance run going into the bottom of the seventh, 11-5.
As it turned out, the Rebels needed all three runs as Marked Tree rallied with three runs of their own in the bottom of the seventh, before Matthews closed the door by enticing catcher William Ruthven to fly out to right fielder Travis Mays with the bases loaded to end the game, giving the Rebels the 11-8 victory.
In the opener, Andy Lung went the distance, fanning eight, while allowing just three hits as the Indians downed the Rebels 8-2. Marked Tree (2-12, 1-2 3AA South) scored five runs in the fourth inning with the help of four Rebel errors to break the game open. Ron Thompson had the big hit in the inning with a bases loaded double. William Ruthven later tacked on a two run homer to put the icing on the cake as the Indians cruised to the victory.
Riverside's runs came on solo homers from Anthony Reece and Jeremy Mann.
Offensively for the doubleheader, Riverside was led by Jeremy Mann who had two hits, three RBIs, three runs scored and a stolen base to go along with his homerun. In addition to Reece's homer, he had two RBIs and scored two runs. Timms had two hits, three RBIs and scored a run. Cody Richardson had two hits, drove home two, and scored two runs while Garrett Weaver singled, doubled, scored two runs, drove in a run and stole a base. Kevin Winford had an RBI single and scored twice. Caleb McCluskey had an RBI and a run scored. Shawn Mathews doubled, drove in a run, and scored a run while Glen Graham scored one run to round out the Rebel offensive attack.
Jeremy Mann suffered the loss for the Rebels allowing eight runs, only two of them earned. Mann gave up just three hits while striking out seven and walking four in seven innings on the hill.
"In the first game against Marked Tree, we just made too many errors," said Riverside Coach Kevin Hall. "I thought Jeremy (Mann) did a good job, but our defense let him down. Marked Tree is a much better team than their record indicates. They have played a very tough schedule this year. Andy Lung is a real good pitcher. In the second game, I thought the key was the two big hits in the top of the seventh by Jeremy and Tyler that gave us the two insurance runs, which we definitely needed. I thought Tyler pitched a very good game. He kept Marked Tree off balance by mixing up his pitches and we played good defense behind him. One play in particular was a catch made by left fielder Cody Richardson that saved a couple of runs. We are still playing inconsistent ball, but we are a very young team. I am really enjoying this season, and I think we will get better as the year goes on."
"I thought we played extremely well in the first game," said Marked Tree Baseball Coach Matt Wright. "We did the little things that it takes to win and we got a couple of big hits with two outs and men in scoring position. We are a better club than our record shows. We have really played a difficult schedule. In the second game, we had the one bad inning that really cost us, and you can't do that against a good team like Riverside and expect to win. I was proud of my kids for fighting back and we had a chance to pull it out, but just couldn(t quite get it done."
Riverside will resume action Monday as they host Cross County at Lake City in a 3AA South Conference match-up. The Rebels will then host Manila at Caraway on Tuesday in non-conference action before beginning play in the Craighead County Baseball Tournament at Westside which runs Thursday-Saturday.