Riverside attends Xtra Innings Classic

Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Riverside went into this week's Xtra Innings Classic hoping to turn their baseball season around, but instead dropped two more games Saturday and are still searching for their first win of the season.

The Rebels took on Des Arc in the first of the twin bill Saturday morning at Monette, but came away a 12-5 loser as Des Arc center fielder and University of Arkansas recruit Jason Dahl smashed a pair of home runs while driving in three to lead the Eagles nine hit attack.

Des Arc scored three runs in the first inning before the Rebels battled back in their half of the inning with a pair of runs of their own. Cody Richardson scored Riverside's first run when he scampered home on a double steal. The Rebels cut the Eagle lead to 3-2 when left fielder Casey Hook ripped a clean single up the middle, scoring Garrett Weaver, who had reached first on an error.

The Eagles broke the game open in the third inning, scoring five times. Dahl led off with the first of his two home runs, blasting a lead off home run over the left center field fence to give the Eagles a 4-2 lead. Des Arc then loaded the bases with the help of an error, a bloop single by Cody Graham, and a base on ball to Donavan Gilmore, loading the bases. Garrett Weaver, who took the loss, struck out Tyler Treadwell, but Eagle right fielder Drew Farrish ripped a two run single to right center to give the Eagles a 6-2 lead. Des Arc added another run by pulling off a double steal to take a 7-2 lead after three innings.

Des Arc added two more runs in the fourth inning when Dahl slammed his second home run of the game, a towering two run shot deep over the left field fence to give the Eagles a 9-2 lead. Des Arc tacked on two more runs in the fifth and added an insurance run in the sixth to build a 12-2 lead.

Riverside managed to score three runs in the bottom of the sixth, two coming home on a two run triple by Weaver. Beau Hogan's RBI single to center drove Weaver home with what proved to be the Rebel's final run of the game.

Des Arc, now 7-4 on the year, got a strong pitching performance from Gilmore. The freshman limited Riverside to six hits in earning the victory. Riverside dropped to 0-6 on the season.

"Jason (Dahl) is a pretty good athlete," said Des Arc Coach Dale Dahl, who is also the senior center fielder's father. "He is being recruited in both football and baseball by the University of Arkansas. We have been hitting the ball and scoring runs all year, averaging 9-10 runs a game. Our problem has been making too many errors, but I thought we did much better today. Our freshman, Gilmore, pitched a pretty good game for us. It was good to get the win."

Richardson led Riverside at the plate with a pair of hits, while Weaver, Hogan, Casey Hook, and Nick Bagley added base knocks.

The Rebels continued to be as cold as the weather was Saturday afternoon as they dropped the nightcap to Harrisburg 15-5 in five innings. The Rebels were their own worst enemy as Riverside pitchers walked nine batters in addition to hitting five more. Harrisburg also pounded out six hits in picking up their first win of the season against seven losses.

The Hornets jumped to a 1-0 lead in the first inning before the Rebels came back to tie it up in their half of the first on an RBI ground out by freshman center fielder Cameron Casey. The Rebels had a chance for a big inning when they loaded the bases with nobody out. Rebel Coach Kevin Hall put on the squeeze play but freshmanNick Bagley's bunt was fielded by Hornet pitcher Kevin Harkey, who threw home just in time to nip Tyler Timms, who was racing home from third. Casey's grounder drove in Casey Hook from third base to tie the score 1-1 as the base runners moved from second to third on the play. Harkey then enticed Cody Richardson to ground out harmlessly to second to end the threat and leave the score tied.

Harrisburg blew the game open in the top of the third, scoring nine runs on just two hits. Trevor Owens led off the inning with a walk and advanced to second when Rebel pitcher Beau Hogan, who dropped to 0-3 on the season, was wild on a pick off throw to first. Chad Burnett then laced a double, scoring Owens to give Harrisburg a 2-1 lead. Noah Qualls reached on another Rebel error, putting runners at first and second. The Hornets then pulled off a double steal and loaded the bases when Hogan plucked Robbie Dorman with a pitch. Hornet first baseman Lee Weston ripped a two run single, plating two more runs to give the Hornets a 4-2 edge. After Hogan struck out Caleb Qualls, Harrisburg scored their fifth run on another Rebel error. A sacrifice fly by Hornet right fielder Taylor Mooney made the score 6-1. Harrisburg loaded the bases again when Hogan hit John Thompson, gave up a walk to Harkey and plucked Owens with a pitch. The Rebels then made a pitching change, bringing in sophomore Glen Graham. Graham uncorked a pair of wild pitches and walked a batter before Noah Qualls' two run single capped off the Hornet's big inning as Harrisburg took a 10-1 lead.

Harrisburg added four more runs in the third and coasted to their first win of the season. Harkey, a freshman, picked up the win, giving up just six hits. Hogan lasted an inning and two thirds, giving up 10 runs, only one earned. The junior right hander struck out one while issuing three walks in addition to hitting three batters. Hogan surrendered three hits.

Riverside was led at the plate by Hogan who had a pair of hits, while Weaver, Cameron Casey, Nick Bagley and Caleb McCluskey added one hit each.

Riverside will return to action Tuesday afternoon when they travel to Marked Tree for a 4:00 contest. The Rebels will play host to Marked Tree on Friday at Caraway.

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