Rebels fall in quarters at hands of Catholic-NI

Published 12:01 am Wednesday, May 9, 2018

NEW IBERIA — Saturday marked the end of the road for seven seniors on the Riverside Academy baseball team.

The Rebels weren’t able to snag a consecutive championship win, falling to Catholic – New Iberia in the LHSAA Division III quarterfinals in a best of three game set.

Friday’s road game was competitive, with high intensity plays and evenly matched skill sets, according to head coach Frank Cazeaux.

Jordan Loving’s strong arm kept the Rebels in the game, and Zack Gieger connected on a three-run homer to tie the game 5-5 in the sixth inning.

The ball bounced the other way when Catholic – New Iberia brought home another run to end the game 6-5 in the ninth inning.

The Rebels struggled to keep their heads above water during Saturday’s game, as Catholic – New Iberia blitzed to a 13-1 win in six innings.

“On Saturday, they put the pressure on us,” Cazeaux said. “We didn’t play bad. We didn’t play good. They’re a talented and experienced team, and they beat us, fair and square.”

Going into the game, Cazeaux said he knew the Rebels were in for a challenge. He’s not too disappointed with the outcome, believing a successful season is built around effort, not wins or losses.

“It was a good season for us,” Cazeaux said. “We didn’t repeat the state championship, but you’ve got to be realistic and know there are a bunch of good teams across the state, and they’re all shooting at you. The boys brought their ‘A’ game, and I’m proud of their efforts.”

Seniors Loving and Jared Hymel left their mark on the program this year through outstanding leadership, Cazeaux said.

Next year, Hymel will play college baseball at the University of New Orleans as Loving pursues a football career at Louisiana State University. Gieger, another standout senior, will play baseball at Delgado Community College.

Cazeaux said new and returning players will have to step up, get stronger and quicker and become more disciplined.

He anticipates turning to rising senior Patrick Boudreaux and rising juniors Gavin Vicknair and Devon Watson for leadership.