Baseball: Riverdale handles Ben Franklin to finish district unbeaten
NEW ORLEANS – A year ago, Riverdale was one of the best baseball stories in the New Orleans area, winning a playoff game for the first time since 1989. The 2019 Rebels are focused on winning in the postseason once again.
After seeing a six-game win streak snapped Monday by De La Salle, Riverdale scored in every inning in a 13-2 victory over Ben Franklin in a District 10-4A contest. at Kirsch-Rooney Stadium Tuesday afternoon in a game shortened to five innings by the mercy rule.
With the win, Riverdale finished off an unbeaten district season for the second straight year.
The Rebels (16-9, 8-0) scored four runs in the top of the first on an RBI single by Will Flynn, a two-run single by Demar Brashears and a wild pitch.
The Falcons (8-13, 5-3) cut the deficit in half in the bottom of the frame on an RBI single by Jude Meche, which was the only hit of the game for Ben Franklin, and an RBI groundout by Jordan Bennett to make it 4-2.
Riverdale answered immediately in the top of the second on an RBI single by Caleb Laird and a two-run single by Flynn to make it 7-2.
The Rebels continued to score in the fourth inning with Brashears driving in his third run of the day to make it 9-2 before Juan Perez singled home a second run and made it 10-2.
Riverdale finished it off in the top of the fifth on a two-run single by Zahid Acevado and a sacrifice fly by Alan Castro.
We had already won the district title but this makes it an undefeated district title and that’s two years in a row,” Riverdale coach Sean Temple said. “We attacked the first pitch. That was one of our goals going in. We had 16 hits and for our guys, that’s what we need to do.”
Ryder Chriss pitched the first four innings for Riverdale, allowing two unearned runs on just one hit. He struck out eight and walked just two. Flynn set the Falcons down in order in the bottom of the fifth with a pair of strikeouts to end it.
Laird had three hits, including a double and an RBI with a pair of stolen bases.
“We saw the ball really well today,” Laird said. “I guess it showed on the field. It’s the first time I’ve ever gone undefeated in district. It feels great. Coming from last year, it is a big step to try to follow it but we are doing that as well as we can.”
Brashears had two hits, two stolen bases and three RBI.
“When the dugout has the same energy as you, everybody gets in the flow and you just go with the flow,” Brashears said. I think this team is capable of a lot. I think this team can definitely make it far.”
Eli Durham took the loss for Ben Franklin.
Riverdale will entertain Houma Christian Thursday at 4 p.m. to close its regular season while Ben Franklin closes out its regular season Wednesday evening against St. Augustine at Wesley Barrow Stadium at 6 p.m.
“While a lot of these guys were on the team last year, a number of them were not in the starting lineup because we had so many seniors,” Temple. “It’s taken a while but they are finally starting to get the experience it takes to make the routine plays that we made last year. We’re hopeful that it continues. We have five seniors. Some have waited very patiently to get a starting job and they’ve done a good job.”
Riverdale 431 23 13 16 1, 5 LOB
Franklin 200 00 2 1 3, 2 LOB
Time of Game: 1:13
SB—Caleb Laird 2, Demar Brashears 2, Will Flynn, Nicholas Legaux, Juan Perez
2B—Juan Perez, Caleb Laird
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Born and raised in the New Orleans area, CCSE Owner and CEO Ken Trahan has been a sports media fixture in the community for nearly four decades. Ken started NewOrleans.com/Sports with Bill Hammack and Don Jones in 2008. In 2011, the site became SportsNOLA.com. On August 1, 2017, Ken helped launch CrescentCitySports.com. Having accumulated national awards/recognition (National Football Foundation, College…