Riverside advances with 7-2 victory

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, May 4, 2005


Sports Editor

RESERVE-Quietly moving along in the Class 2A playoffs, the Riverside Rebels took down yet another opponent Friday night in a 7-2 victory over Opelousas Catholic.

Riverside now advances to the state quarterfinals where they will take on Loranger at home at 4:00 on Thursday with the winner advancing to the state tournament at the University of Louisiana-Monroe.

Looking to try and get an early lead, the Rebels did exactly that as they were able to push across four runs in the top half of the first inning.

Wade Delaneuville picked up the big hit of the inning as with the bases loaded he lined a three-run double into the gap, clearing the bases and giving the Rebels a 3-0 lead.

Delaneuville finished the game 2-4 with a double and three runs driven in.

The Rebels also got solid night at the plate from Jordan Poirrier and Lee Haydel.

Playing a solid shortstop throughout the game and even coming in to pick up the final out on the hill, Poirrier went 2-3 against Opelousas Catholic, smacking a homerun and driving in a run.

Haydel had nearly as equally good of a night going 2-4 at the plate.

While the Riverside offense was providing runs, Jonathan Giroir was shutting down the talented and powerful Opelousas Catholic offense.

Picking up the victory on the mound, Giroir allowed only two runs in six and two-thirds innings of work on five hits. Struggling at times with his control with five walks, Giroir also struck out three batters before giving way to Poirrier to record the final out of the game and seal the victory.

“I thought that it was important for us to get on top early,” Riverside Head Coach Steve Stropolo said. “Especially for the confidence of the players. Of course the pitcher throws the ball a lot easier than when he is even or behind on the scoreboard.

“We were able to jump out to a 4-0 lead in the top of the first inning and Jonathan was able to get into a groove.”

Stropolo said after the game that he was overall pleased with the way and the style of baseball his squad is playing.

“We hit the ball well today,” Stropolo said. “I think the key was besides the pitching, we just played smart baseball. Wade hits the double in the first inning and if our runner at first base was not hustling, then we don’t score but two runs in that sequence instead of the three that we were able to push across.

“Josh Labiche made a great play in centerfield running back to the wall. Haydel made two great plays running to the wall in the outfield. Everyone contributed somewhere along the line. Justin’s homer really put the nail in the coffin.”

Two games away from the playing for a state championship, Stropolo said his team has as good as chance as anyone to be hoisting the 2A trophy at the end of the season.

“I think we are that type of team,” Stropolo said. “I told them in the beginning of the year that there are probably only about five teams, maybe only even four that have a chance to win the state championship. Everyone else just plays for the season and goes home.

“I think that we are one of those teams that can win it all. A lot of things have to go right and we still have a ways to go. We play a good Loranger team on Thursday and then you still have to travel to Monroe.”