Scioneaux K’s 12 as Rebels slug past Slidell
Published 12:40 pm Friday, March 9, 2012
By RYAN ARENA
RESERVE — You could say Riverside coach Matt White was confident after a first inning in which his hosting Rebels jumped out to a 3-0 lead over Slidell Thursday.
The gentleman who took the mound during the top half of the inning had a lot to do with that confidence.
Rebel ace Tate Scioneaux struck out 12 and allowed just three hits, and Riverside socked three home runs in a decisive 8-2 victory at home to open the Fatty’s Invitational tournament.
“Any time we get out to a lead with Tate up there, we’re feeling pretty good about our chances,” said White.
Riverside will play two more tourney games: on Saturday at 1:15 p.m. against Thibodaux and on Sunday at 8:30 a.m. against Country Day.
Wren Vicknair, Evan Veron and Grady Gieger all hit home runs in Thursday’s win, Riverside’s third in four games. Gieger finished the game 2-for-3. Veron had two RBIs and two runs scored.
Scioneaux walked one and allowed one earned run in the victory. He went the complete game.
“Last year, he just tried to blow the ball by everyone,” said White. “He’d start to lose some on his fastball and people would start to hit him around the fourth inning. Today, he was up around 90 pitches, but he’s pitching a smarter game and he finished strong.
“I know when you’re fighting for 27 outs, getting 12 freebies (on strikeouts) is a major boost. And we played some good defense behind him.”
It was an explosive start for the Rebels (6-3) thanks to Vicknair and Veron. Vicknair put Riverside ahead 1-0 when he blasted a solo home run off of Slidell starter Cameron Charbonnet. Veron followed with a two-run shot to make it 3-0.
“It’s the best feeling in the world when you’re on the mound and you get that early lead,” said Scioneaux. “You know if you give up one, it’s still all good.”
Neither team would score again until the fourth inning, when Slidell (3-4) got its first run off of a solo home run by Charbonnet, who helped his own cause with a shot over the right field wall to make it 3-1.
But Riverside saw Slidell’s run and raised it two more in the bottom of the fourth. Deuce Wallace singled, then Veron reached on an error at second base. Both runners advanced on a balk. Charbonnet struck out Cameron Bivona, but Bivona reached after a dropped third strike; Slidell catcher Austin Sigsworth tried to get Wallace at third base, who was threatening to break for home plate, unsuccessfully.
Wallace would reach home on a passed ball to make it 4-1; Veron scored when a ball hit by Dustin Madere was fielded and thrown past third baseman Cannon White, making it 5-1. Charbonnet struck out the next two batters to end the inning.
Scioneaux was on cruise control, striking out two batters as he retired the side in order in the 5th; through the first five innings, he retired 15 of the 17 batters he faced.
“He was living on his fastball early on,” said White. “But once he found his breaking ball in about the third or fourth inning, he had two or three pitches working… and he’s real, real tough to hit when that’s the case.”
Said Scioneaux, “I’m throwing a lot harder this year, and that makes my breaking stuff more effective.”
The Rebels got another run in the fifth, this one off the bat of Gieger, a towering shot to right for a solo home run that made it 6-1.
“Even when he’s getting out these days, it’s hit on the nose, hard at someone,” said White of Gieger, who started behind the plate for usual catcher C.J. Edler, who was held out for what White said was a minor injury. “He’s locked in right now.”
Slidell finally started to put something together against Scioneaux in the sixth after singles by Blake Van Court and Charbonnet. Van Court scored on a wild pitch to make it 6-2, but that’s all Slidell would muster.
Riverside added two more runs in the sixth, on RBI singles by Jeremiah Berteau and Scioneaux.