LIFTOFF: Riverside Rebels capture state title

Published 11:38 am Tuesday, May 16, 2017

SULPHUR — Riverside Academy won the Division III baseball state championship Saturday, taking a 2-0 win over Ouachita Christian at McMurry Park in Sulphur.

The Rebels, who were the No. 4 seed in the bracket, needed only four hits to score a run in the third inning and another in the fourth.

Zack Geiger led off the third inning with a double, advanced to third on a grounder and scored on a passed ball.

In the fourth inning, catcher Heath Mohon singled and was replaced by courtesy runner Devon Watson. Payton Bailey was hit by a pitch and Dane Edler beat out a bunt to load the bases. Geiger then hit a sacrifice fly to score Watson.

Senior pitcher Mason Vicknair scattered seven hits in a complete game shutout. He struck out six and walked four. He pitched out of a bases loaded jam in the bottom of the third and successfully dealt with runners at second and third in the fourth and fifth innings.

Vicknair also made two highlight show catches, robbing the Eagles of a pair of base hits. Ouachita Christian left 11 runners stranded.

“(Vicknair) hasn’t pitched a whole lot for us this season because of an injury,” said Rebels coach Frank Cazeaux, who last won a championship while coaching Rummel in 1997. “We knew he was ready for this game.”

Vicknair, who was last year’s Class 2A All-State Outstanding Player, was the game’s MVP.

“It’s a great feeling,” said Vicknair, who has signed to play baseball for Delgado Community College. “Me and all my teammates just came together and got it done. It’s surreal. It’s still hard to believe.”

The win gives Riverside its third baseball state championship in school history. The Rebels won Class 2A titles in 1995 and 2006.

It comes just months after the Rebels won the Division III football state championship in December. The softball team finished as Division III state runner-up last month.