In another key district series, Riverdale and La Vergne are going in different directions as the baseball season is heading toward postseason play.
The Warriors came into the three-game series, which started Monday, winning 10 out of the last 11 games that have been played since the beginning of April. As for the Wolverines, they have lost three out of four games.
Riverdale started off the series with an 8-2 win at La Vergne.
RHS senior pitcher and designated hitter Jonathan King helped the cause both from the plate and the mound. King was one of three Warriors to put one over the wall. He hit a two-run homer and held the LHS bats to only two hits in four innings of work.
The other Warrior homers came off the bats of senior Taylor Walker with a grand slam, and fellow senior Austin Swayze, who nailed a solo shot.
On Tuesday, the series shifted to the Warriors home park, Jones Field, otherwise known as “The Reservation,” as Riverdale looked to continue its perfect record inside one of the toughest districts in the midstate at 7-0. La Vergne is currently at 2-5.
Riverdale is looking for its first district title since 2006, but the Warriors advanced to regional’s last season.
The Warriors made it 8-0 with a 5-1 win on a wet and cloudy Tuesday night.
Pesky off-and-on showers were in the area all day, and the Warriors had the field covered up until about an hour before the first pitch at 6 p.m. The field was in great shape as the game started.
“We did a good job executing the small game. We did a good job moving runners around, and Snider did a good job on the mound tonight kind of keeping their hitters in check. It was a good overall performance.” RHS head coach Barry Messer said after Tuesday’s win.
The Warriors got on the board first in the bottom of the opening inning. Swayze hit a double to left center, which put senior Thomas Bradey across the plate. Fellow classmate Ronnie Stephens later scored off a Wolverine error to make the 2-0 after one inning.
Riverdale added a run in the second when a double by King scored junior Trevin Ayers. LHS answered in the top of the third when Mario Diaz beat the throw home on a double steal.
The Warriors returned the favor in the fourth when Stephens scored on an error by the LHS catcher to make the score 4-1.
The Warriors extended the lead to 5-1 in the bottom of the fifth after Bradey laid down a perfect bunt down the first base line to score senior Joey Trevathan.
Sophomore RHS pitcher Collin Snider held the La Vergne bats in check by only giving up five hits during the 77-pitch complete game and helped improve the Warriors overall record to 18-7 on the season.
After postgame interviews, he was douced with water.
This year’s Warrior team is a senior-laded squad with 10 members. And four of them have already made its college plans, while many others are in the process of making their final decision on what school to continue their career. Off the field, they also have a busy week with the school’s prom tomorrow night at Embassy Suites.
“They all are great leaders, and we look up to them,” Snider said after the game about the role the seniors have played on this year’s team. “We all get along great as a team.”
The three-game series concluded last night at La Vergne, results were unavailable before this issue went to press.
Each of the six teams inside the district has two key three-game district series as they fight for position in the standings and seeding heading into the upcoming district tournament. Other matchups in the district that concluded yesterday were Blackman versus Smyrna, and Oakland faced Siegel. Look to the Sunday Post for results.
“We’ve got a very experienced team, we got 10 seniors. … We are just trying to do what we can and just control what we can control. We try not to look ahead and take a one game mentally,” Messer said. “That is what we have done so far, and we are halfway there. There are now seven games to go. It is still a long season, a lot of baseball is left to be played and it is still anybody’s game, we just got to do what Riverdale does.”
This weekend another round of district matchups take place, Blackman plays Oakland, La Vergne takes on Smyrna, and what might be a preview of the fight for the top spot in the district, Siegel plays Riverdale.
Each team gets to play host to one game during the three-game series. Like most players and coaches during this time of year, they only focus on the next game and not look ahead down the road.