Riverside advances to State Tourney
Sophomore right hander Blake Hogan fired a no-hitter and Riverside wrapped out 10 hits Saturday afternoon as the Rebels pounded out an 11-1 victory over Hillcrest at Tuckerman to earn a trip to the Class AA State Tournament beginning Friday in Pine Bluff.
Hillcrest got on the board first, thanks to some early wildness by Hogan, who walked four batters in the opening frame, including a bases loaded pass to force in the game's first run which put the Screaming Eagles up 1-0.
Riverside came right back in their half of the first to tie the game when senior Garrett Weaver scored on a two-out error by Hillcrest shortstop Derek Wooten.
The Rebels took the lead for good in the third inning when freshman Jake Love reached second base after Hillcrest centerfielder Marcus Huskey lost Love's high fly in the sun. One out later, Weaver connected with a towering drive over the left centerfield fence, giving the Rebels a 3-1 advantage. Cody Richardson followed with a base hit to left field, and scored when Hogan ripped a two-out RBI double, putting Riverside ahead 4-1.
The Rebels put the game away with a seven run fifth inning despite getting only two hits. Hillcrest aided the Rebels by committing four errors, including three wild throws to home plate that led to three Riverside runs.
Love finished the day with a perfect 4-4 performance at the plate. Weaver and Hogan had two hits apiece while Richardson and Nick Bagley also had base knocks for the Rebels, who improved to 11-10 on the season.
Hogan improved to 5-3, allowing one run in five innings of work. The big right hander struck out five and gave up 10 walks on the afternoon.