Rebels beginning to click, win fourth straight game

Published 12:01 am Wednesday, April 8, 2015

RESERVE — Last season, Riverside overcame a slow start against an unforgiving early-season slate of foes, ultimately rolling on to the Class 2A state semifinals.

This year’s Rebels squad may be teasing an encore.

Riverside was 4-10 after wrapping up at the Lutcher tournament in late March, but has won four in a row in dominant fashion, the last three of that run coming in a span of four days from April 1-4.

The Rebels defeated Albany Saturday, 13-3, St. James Thursday, 30-3, and Haynes April 1, 10-0, to improve their record to 8-10.

Riverside was ranked No. 15 in Class 2A power ratings as of Friday morning, and could be set up to earn a high seed if it can extend the hot play further.

“We’re still a little ways away,” said Riverside coach Frank Cazeaux. “We need to start playing a little better defensively. We played a lot of really good teams early, and I felt we held our own. Right now, though, we’re starting to play as well as anyone.”

The Rebels finished all three opponents early, by the 10-run rule.

At Albany, Mason Vicknair earned the win on the mound, going four innings and allowing two hits while striking out nine.

Offensively, RA’s Brandon Hymel had a monster day, going 3 for 4 with two home runs and three RBIs. Vicknair helped his own cause with a grand slam.

Tyler Gauthier and Jordan Loving each hit home runs as well.

The Rebels had their most dominant win of the season at St. James.  Gauthier went 2 for 2 with four RBIs. Vicknair went 2 for 2 with three RBIs. Evan Veron and Brandon Morris were each 3 for 3 with two RBIs. Jared Hymel hit a grand slam home run. Sean Mohon went three innings and earned the win.

At home against Haynes, T.J. St. Pierre went 3 for 3 with two RBIs. Hymel went 3 for 4 with two RBIs and Morris went 1 for 3 with two RBIs. Loving earned the shutout win, going six innings and allowing three hits while striking out eight.

Cazeaux said the Rebels are starting to connect offensively, and the stats bear it out: after scoring 10 runs or more just once in its first 14 games, Riverside has done it in each of its last four games.

“The most surprising thing has been (the emergence of) the long ball,” Cazeaux said. “Albany’s got a good pitcher, and we hit five out in that game.”