Rebels launch 3 home runs, advance past Delcambre

Published 11:45 pm Friday, May 2, 2014


LAPLACE — After a small dog briefly interrupted play during the first inning of Riverside’s bi-district round playoff game against visiting Delcambre Thursday, Rebels coach Matt White smiled and quipped to his home crowd, “It’s all part of the show!”

The canine was just a supporting actor on this day, however. The Rebel players were the true stars, putting on a spectacular show for the fans in attendance. Three RA players hit home runs, including Mason Vicknair, who tossed a two-hit shutout in a 10-0 victory for Riverside.

The third-seeded Rebels will face the winner of the game between No. 14 Lakeside and No. 19 St. Thomas Aquinas. That game was scheduled to be played Friday, after press time.

Vicknair, T.J. St. Pierre and Brandon Hymel each hit home runs in the game, Vicknair’s shot a towering no-doubter that ended the game by the 10-run rule in the fifth inning.

Riverside (18-9) has entered the postseason on fire. The Rebels have now won 14 of their last 15 games, the lone loss a 5-4 decision against 5A No. 2 seed Brother Martin. All but one of the Rebel wins in that stretch have come by multiple runs.

At one point this season, RA had a record of 3-9 (One early loss to Mandeville has since been changed to a Rebels victory through forfeit).

“We had a rough start at the beginning,” said Hymel. “We’re really playing well right now. We’re swinging the bats and we’re off to a good start in the playoffs today.”

Added Vicknair, “We’re playing our best baseball. The last 14 or 15 games, we’re on a nice run and we’re a very confident team right now.”

Vicknair struck out eight and walked two to earn the win.

The Rebels scored five runs in the first, all with two outs after Delcambre pitcher Lane Campbell retired the first two RA batters of the game.

Campbell hit St. Pierre to kickstart the Rebel surge. Nick Delaneuville drew a walk, then Cameron Bivona singled up the middle to make it 1-0. Kameron Bailey — running for Delaneuville — scored on a wild pitch to make it 2-0, then Chase Wallace singled home another run to make it 3-0.

Then came Hymel’s home run, a shot to left field that pushed the RA lead to 5-0.

“I think we were maybe a little nervous coming out, being the first playoff game, but after we put a few up there, we were as comfortable as can be.”

That chased Campbell from the game, relieved by Hunter Dooley. Riverside loaded the bases against Dooley, but he got Vicknair to fly out to end the threat.

But after a clean second inning by Vicknair on the mound, St. Pierre led off the bottom of the second with his own blast to left field, a solo home run that made it 6-0. Delaneuville doubled and Wallace singled to bring up Hymel again with an RBI opportunity. This time he singled to make it 7-0.

“We’re just on fire offensively,” said Riverside coach Matt White.

Riverside scored on a balk in the fourth inning. Then came Vicknair’s shot in the fifth to close things out, his home run following a Tyler Gauthier walk to end the game.

Vicknair had been 0-3 up until his final at-bat, but he closed the game in style. It was his seventh home run of the season.

“I couldn’t even get it in play. I struck out, popped up,” said Vicknair. “But there I was just looking for my pitch. It was a 2-2