Riverdale baseball wins District 7-AAA regular-season title

Riverdale's baseball team had reason to celebrate on Friday night when it won the District 7-AAA title with a 7-6, 14-inning game over Stewarts Creek, HARRISON MCCLARY

SMYRNA -- It took the equivalent of two games before Riverdale's baseball team defeated Stewarts Creek 7-6 in 14 innings Friday night to win the District 7-AAA regular-season title and the top seed for the upcoming postseason tournament.

In the 14th inning, the Warriors broke through as Brantley Bamberg reached on an error, the fifth of the night for the Red Hawks.

Cade Hitson moved him over, Bamberg stole third and Bradley Pippin delivered a single to score Bamberg.

William Wexler slammed the door in the bottom half of the inning, retiring the side in order, as he pitched 3 2/3 innings, walking one and striking out two to get the win to move to 2-0 on the season.

Zachary Lawson took the loss in relief for the Red Hawks.

"One error is bad enough but when you have five you are not going to win the ball game," Stewarts Creek coach Mike Bartlett said. "Riverdale is a tough team if you play clean."

Riverdale improved to 14-3 in the district and Stewarts Creek finished 12-5.

"These guys have a lot of grit about them," Riverdale coach Barry Meser said. "It was a Riverdale way of playing and a team win. I cannot mention one guy or one moment in this game. It is the fifth extra-inning game for us this season."

Riverdale starter Brock Puckett couldn't get out of the first inning as he walked three of the first four batters he faced. Stewarts Creek scored three times on a bases-loaded walks, a sacrifice fly by Luke Dymond and a hit that made the score 3-1 after one inning.

Stewarts Creek scored a couple more later on hits by Maddux Leebrick and Keenan Saiyasak to make it 5-1.

Riverdale was not done as the Warriors rallied in the sixth behind hits by Bamberg and Hitson, who had a single that scored Walker Cherry who ran for Bamberg.

Jackson Underwood had a bases-loaded walk before Wexler hit one to the outfield that the right fielder misplayed, allowing Eli Delk and Blake Merwin to score to tie the game at 5-5 after six innings.

Each team scored in the eighth as Underwood hit a sacrifice fly for the Warriors, and Josh Dudley hit a double to score Reggie Cooper.

The relief pitchers came through as Pippin pitched 5 2/3 innin,gs striking out nine and walking one for the Warriors. Saiyasak tossed six innings, walking one and striking out three.

Stewarts Creek won the first game of the three-game series at home before falling at Riverdale 2-1 on Wednesday night.

The Warriors clinched first place by virtue of Oakland 11-10, eight-inning win over Siegel, which dropped the starts to 12-4 in league play.

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