Rebels bring home district title with 3-1 win over Corning

Tuesday, May 2, 2017
Rebel ace Gavin Stone fires a pitch in Thursday afternoon's district tournament finals against Corning. Stone picked up the victory, helping the Rebels claim their third championship in four years.
(Town Crier photos/Trent Fletcher)

Riverside rode the strong right arm of senior Gavin Stone, defeating Corning 3-1 in the finals of the 3A District Tournament Thursday at Lake City. The win gave the Rebels their third district championship in the last four years and sends them into this week’s regional tournament at Manila as a number one seed. Riverside will begin tourney play Thursday at 3:00 against fourth seeded Mountain View.

Riverside scored in the opening inning against the Bobcats when Preston Nichols reached on an error, stole second and advanced to third on a groundout before trotting home on Izzy Garcia’s grounder to the right side of the infield.

The Rebels tacked on two more runs in the third inning. Nichols banged a one-out double and advanced to third on an infield single by Garcia. Nichols then raced home on a wild pitch, putting Riverside ahead 2-0. Stone followed with a base hit, putting runners at first and second. Larry Tilley walked to load the bases. Dillon Turner made the score 3-0 with an RBI groundout.

Rebel batter Larry Tilley reached for an outside pitch during Riverside's 3-1 victory over Corning in the finals of the 3A District Championship Thursday at Lake City.

Stone sailed along through the first four innings before surrendering an unearned run in the fifth. The University of Central Arkansas signee blanked the Bobcats over the final two innings as the Rebels celebrated their championship.

Corning out-hit the Rebels 8-5. Both teams committed one error each. Stone went the distance, scattering eight hits and striking out eight. Mason Silberstein took the loss, pitching six innings, allowing five hits and two earned runs.

Garcia led Riverside at the plate, going 2-3 with an RBI and a run scored. Nichols, Stone and Matthew Fraser also had hits for the Rebels, with Nichols scoring two runs.

“I’m very proud of this group of seniors,” said Riverside Coach Ben Hoggard. “This is their third district championship in the last four years. I thought we played well today and I think we are set up for next week’s regional.”

The Rebels began the tournament by hammering Hoxie 21-0 Tuesday. Riverside got 10 runs in the first, two in the second, three in the third and added six more in the fourth to close out the scoring. Riverside pounded out 18 hits while Hoxie had just one.

Charlie McClure picked up the win, throwing two hitless innings with striking out four. Nichols followed with two perfect innings. Fraser finished the game, pitching one inning, allowing a hit and a walk.

Tilley had a big day at the plate, going 3-3, including a triple. The right fielder scored twice and drove in four runs. Fraser had a pair of hits, scored twice and drove in a run. Cannon Smith went 2-3 with three RBI while Braden Overman tripled, singled, scored twice and drove in two runs. McClure was 2-2 with an RBI and two runs scored. Turner singled, doubled, scored twice and had two RBI. Garcia had a two-run double and scored four times. Stone drilled a two-run single and scored a run. Nichols delivered an RBI single and scored twice. Jacob Thomas raked an RBI single and scored a run while Ryan Austin singled and crossed the plate once. Aaron Smith and Zach Poe both scored runs.

In the semifinals, Riverside clubbed Piggott 8-2. Tilley picked up the victory, pitching five innings, allowing three hits and one run. McClure worked an inning of one-hit, one-run ball while Turner finished the game, allowing one hit and no runs.

Riverside took a 2-0 lead in the second. The Mohawks closed to within 2-1 with a run in the third. The Rebels came right back with a run in their half of the inning and scored three more in the fourth and two in the fifth to take an 8-1 lead. Piggott scored a run in the sixth. Riverside out-hit the Mohawks 7-5.

Smith singled and tripled, drove in a run and scored once. Turner singled, drove in three runs and scored twice. Tilley had an RBI double and scored a run while Overman and Nichols both delivered RBI singles and scored a run apiece. Fraser had a single while Stone scored once.

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