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Pope John Paul ends Rebels’ seasonal in regionals

Michael Kiral / L’Observateur / May 6, 1998

RESERVE – Riverside’s season and coach Tommy Fernandez’s career came to an end Monday afternoon as the Rebels fell to Pope John Paul II, 7-2, in the regional playoffs.

Riverside finished its season at Pope John Paul, the District 8-2A champions with a record, advanced to face the winner of the St. Martin’s-Iota game Monday afternoon.

“We had all the ingredients this year but we just did not jell,” Fernandez, who recently announced his retirement pending the hiring of his successor.

“We could not put two or three good games together.”Monday’s game was one of missed opportunities for the Rebels. Riversidehad scoring opportunities in the second and third innings but came away with just two runs.

“We had more than one opportunity to jump out ahead and perhaps bust it open,” Fernandez said.

Riverside catcher Blake Duhe got starter Joey Poirrier out of trouble in the second but catching Clint Duffy trying to steal second to end the inning. Anson Matherne then opened the bottom of the inning by strikingout but reaching first as catcher Mike Sanchez’s throw pulled first baseman Kyle Hamilton off the bag.

Joel Ortiz followed with a bunt that Jaguars starter Mike Hingle fielded and threw past first base, putting runners at the corners with nobody out.

But Hingle wiggled out of the jam by getting Duhe to ground back to the mound with Ortiz being forced at second. Hingle then struck out BrandonDelaneuville with Sanchez picking off courtesy runner Seth LeBlanc at first to end the inning.

Riverside broke through in the bottom of the third as Kenny Clement lined a shot to right to open the inning. One out later, Dustin Zimmer hit a softgrounder to short that San Francis could not come up cleanly with. RyanRome followed with a chopper past the mound to load the bases.

After Sean Delaneuville flied out to left, Matherne hit a slow grounder to third. Duffy made a diving stop of the ball but had no play as Clement camein to score. Ortiz then singled to center, bringing in Zimmer and giving theRebels a 2-0 lead.

Pope John Paul countered in the top of the fourth as Sanchez and Hamilton singled to open the inning. Glenn Guerra followed with a grounder back toPoirrier who caught Sanchez off third. But Duffy then walked to load thebases and Sean Donnelly tied the game with a single to center.

Pope John Paul took the lead in the top of the fifth as Drew Pizza led off with a walk, was sacrificed to second by Brady Rodriguez and went to third on a wild pitch. Sanchez brought in Pizza with a single to center andscored as Guerra doubled down the third baseline.

Paul LaBiche came in to relieve Poirrier and gave up a single to Duffy and a walk to Donnelly before being replaced by Casey Duhe. Matt Lusk then hita grounder to first that got by Sean Delaneuville, allowing Guerra to come in to give the Jaguars a 5-2 cushion.

Zimmer and Sean Delaneuville singled with one out in the bottom of the inning but Hingle came back to strike out Matherne and Ortiz to prevent further trouble.

Pope John Paul increased its lead to 7-2 in the top of the sixth. Pizza ledoff with a single but was ruled out for stepping over the plate to hit theball. Rodriguez then reached as Delaneuville dropped Zimmer’s throwfrom short. After Sanchez walked, Ortiz replaced Duhe on the mound andgot Hamilton to ground out to move the runners along. But Rodriguez camein to score on a wild pitch by Ortiz with Guerra at the plate and Sanchez followed as Blake Duhe’s throw went past Ortiz covering the palte.

Guerra walked and Duffy followed with a single, but Rome prevented further trouble by throwing Guerra out at the plate on a single by Donnelly.

As for the future, Fernandez said he still will be a part of Riverside baseball. “I will be right there under the trees watching,” Fernandez saidpointing to behind the left field fence.

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