Riverside outslugs EPC to capture 2A-3 District baseball championship
Riverside followed its regular season 2A-3 Conference championship by claiming the District title with an 11-5 victory over East Poinsett County Saturday afternoon at Monette.
The Rebels breezed through the conference season going undefeated, outscoring their opponents 119-8. But Riverside found the going much tougher in this week's district tournament. The Rebels squeezed past Marked Tree 7-6 in Friday night's semifinals before coming from behind to defeat the Warriors in the championship game.
EPC got on the board in the top of the first inning, scoring three times, before the Rebels rallied for two runs in the bottom of the inning to close to within 3-2. Riverside took the lead for good in the bottom of the second when Larry Tilley cracked a two-run single to put the Rebels on top, 4-3. Riverside scored two more runs to go ahead 6-3 after two innings of play and never trailed again.
Kollin Stone (7-0) earned the victory as the Rebels improved to 20-3 on the season. Stone worked four innings, allowing four earned runs on six hits. The senior right hander walked five and struck out seven hitters. Devon Austin picked up his second save of the tournament, pitching the final three innings. Austin was superb in relief, striking out eight of the nine outs he recorded. Austin allowed no hits and walked just one batter on the day.
Tilley carried the big stick for the Rebels, finishing 4-5 with five RBI and two runs scored. Stone singled twice and scored three times while Austin had a pair of hits, an RBI and crossed the plate once. Izzy Garcia had an RBI single and scored twice. Dillon Turner delivered an RBI hit and scored a run. Luke Baker drove in a run with a single. Gavin Stone singled and scored twice while Matthew Fraser added a hit.
"It feels great," said Riverside Coach Jeff Womack. "It's been a while since Riverside won a conference and district championship in the same year. I couldn't be more proud of these kids. They have really, really shown that they could play with their backs against the wall this week. We did not play our best baseball by any stretch of the imagination, but we found ways to win. We kept finding the timely hits. I thought our boys kept pounding away and trying to get the W and they did it."
Riverside jumped to a 5-1 lead after four innings of play in their one run semifinal victory over Marked Tree Friday night. But the Indians, with the help of a pair of Rebel miscues, tied the game 5-5 when Octavious Dean smashed a three-run homer in the top of the fifth inning.
The Rebels came right back scoring twice in the bottom of the inning. Fraser blasted a two-out run-scoring double, plating Tilley with the go-ahead run. Baker followed with an RBI single, scoring Fraser with a crucial insurance run, giving the Rebels a 7-5 lead.
Tilley (7-1) earned the win, pitching five innings, allowing just one earned run. Tilley whiffed six, gave up three hits and allowed no walks. Austin picked up the save, working two innings, allowing one run while fanning five.
Tilley blasted a two-run homer and drove in three runs on the day. Austin also clubbed a solo homer and scored a run. Kollin Stone had a pair of singles and scored once while Gavin Stone, Fraser and Baker all laced singles. Caden Barrett slammed a double.
Riverside will open regional tournament play Friday afternoon at 3 p.m. in Tuckerman.
The Rebels wrapped up the regular season with a 10-2 nonconference victory over Hillcrest Tuesday afternoon at Lake City. Three Riverside pitchers combined on a one-hitter with Austin earning the win. The senior right hander worked three innings, allowing no hits while striking out four. Turner pitched three innings of one-hit ball while Tilley hurled one hitless inning.
Gavin Stone led the Rebels at the plate with a pair of singles and an RBI double while scoring three times. Tilley went 2-4 and drove in three runs.
The Rebels kicked off the week with a doubleheader sweep over conference foe Cross County Monday afternoon at Lake City. Riverside won the opener 9-1 before taking the nightcap 17-0.
Charlie McClure got the win in the first game, allowing one run on just four hits over five innings of work. McClure struck out four and issued one walk. Austin led the Rebels at the plate going 2-2 with three stolen bases. Garcia delivered a two-run single.
Cody Webb (2-0) fired a no-hitter while striking out 11 to earn the win in the nightcap. Tilley clobbered a two-run homer and finished 2-3 with three RBI to lead the Riverside offense. Baker singled, tripled and drove in three runs while Austin singled, doubled and had three RBI. Gavin Stone had a pair of singles.
2A-3 District Softball
Riverside's Lady Rebels punched their ticket to this week's regional tournament at Tuckerman, defeating Rector 18-8 Friday afternoon at Monette. The Lady Rebels began the tournament with a 12-3 beat down of Cross County Thursday afternoon.
Riverside got a complete game performance from Kayli Womack, who earned the victory. Womack fanned 10 Lady Thunderbirds and also went 2-4 at the plate, including a double and two runs scored. Kaitlyn Hale belted a triple and added a single while scoring twice. Brianna Campbell went 2-4 and scored a pair of runs.
Riverside fell in the semifinals as Marmaduke's Sammi Henry fired a three-inning perfect game in the Lady Greyhound's 15-0 victory Saturday afternoon.