By Molly Seales
On Tuesday, March 9, the Riverdale Rebels kicked off their 2021 baseball season. Because our Rebel basketball team is so strong and always advances so far at state, we have to begin baseball season with very little practice. This year the boys only got 3 days of practice before their first game against Tensas Academy. The Chiefs came to East Point and defeated the Rebels 13-3, but there is a lot of potential there for our boys. The Rebels started the first inning by lead off hitter, 8th grader Aston Hester, reaching base on balls. Senior Brennan Edie was then hit by a pitch to reach first base. One batter later, senior Matthew Seales hit a hard line drive into left field to advance the two runners, who scored later in the inning on errors. Senior Garrett Wilhite led off the 2nd inning with a hard single down the 3rd base line, but was left on base. In the 3rd inning, Paul Messenger reached base on balls, and Matthew Seales had another solid single to advance him to 2nd base. Paul scored later that inning on errors. Unfortunately, those were the only runs the Rebels could manage. Matthew Seales was 2/3 in hitting for the day, and Garrett Wilhite went 1/2. Aston Hester, Brennan Edie, and Paul Messenger scored runs for the Rebels. Senior Brennan Edie started on the mound for the Rebels and went 1 1/3 innings. 8th grader Aston Hester then came in on relief, striking out 4 batters in his first varsity game. Matthew Seales came in to finish, pitching to two batters in the top of the 5th. For the first time in quite a few years, the Rebels had enough boys come out for baseball to have a JV team. The JV team got to play 2 innings in an unofficial game after the varsity game, but no score was kept.
On Friday, March 12, the Rebels traveled to Tensas Academy for a double header. Right now, the Rebels do not have the pitching depth they need for 3 games a week. Several Rebels are practicing pitching during practice and hope to be ready to pitch some quality innings on the mound as the season progresses. They are also having trouble with leaving runners on base and have to find a way to get those runs across the plate. The Rebels fell to the Chiefs 10-2 the first game and 10-0 the second game. During the first game of the double header, the Rebels managed to hit the ball much better than they did on Tuesday, tallying 5 hits. Noah Wren led off the 3rd inning with a solid double to center field. Two batters later, with two outs, Aston Hester hit a single to drive Wren in. Paul Messenger then singled to advance Hester to 2nd base. Matthew Seales then hit a hard single to left center to score Hester. Unfortunately, the two 2ndinning runs were the only ones the Rebels put on the board. In hitting, Denver Williams was 1/2 and Noah Wren was 1/2 (double.) Matthew Seales was 1/2 with an RBI. Paul Messenger was 1/3 and Aston Hester was 1/3 with an RBI. Aston Hester got the start on the mound, striking out 6 batters. Brennan Edie came in on relief and struck out 2.
In the 2nd game, the Rebels were unable to record any hits off the Chiefs. Brennan Edie reached base on balls twice and Pau Messenger reached on balls once. Matthew Seales reached base on balls once and once on catcher’s interference, but they were all unable to score. Brennan Edie got the start on the mound and struck out 3 batters. Aston Hester came in later and also struck out 3 batters.