By Molly Seales
Tuesday, April 20, was a special day for the six senior baseball players at Riverdale Academy. It was the last home game of the season, a double header against Central, and the seniors were honored before the game. In a ceremony before the game, Coach Jared Smelser presented each senior with a baseball signed by their teammates. The seniors being honored were #1 Noah Wren, #2 Brennan Edie, #5 Matthew Seales, #7 Paul Messenger, #15 Jake Wilhite, and #23 Garrett Wilhite. For the first game of the double header, Coach Smelser surprised Matthew and Garrett by starting Matthew’s first cousin Hayden Hillman and Garrett’s little brother Jace Wilhite so they could play with them for their final game of their career.
The Rebels started off hot the first game and never looked back, defeating the Central Pioneers 13-3. Seniors Brennan Edie, Matthew Seales, and Noah Wren led their team in hitting, each going 2 for 3 at the plate. One of Edie’s hits was a double, which resulted in an RBI. Seales and Wren both had 2 RBI’s in the game. Senior Paul Messenger was 1 for 2 with an RBI, and senior Garrett Wilhite had a double that resulted in 2 RBI’s. Aston Hester, Mason Murray, and Kyle Guillory were all 1 for 2 in the game. Guillory and Hester’s hits both resulted in 2 RBI’s each. Edie had 2 stolen bases, while Messenger, Seales, and Guillory each had one. Messenger and Garrett Wilhite each scored 3 runs in the game, while Edie scored 2 runs. Seales, Hester, Jace Wilhite, Murray, and Guillory each scored 1 run. Brennan Edie pitched an outstanding game in his last start of his career, striking out 7 batters and allowing only 1 hit. Paul Messenger came in as a relief pitcher and struck out one batter in the final inning.
The Rebels came out hot again for game 2, and they were determined to get a second win for their seniors. They succeeded, winning the 2nd game of the day by a score of 16-6. After 14 years of playing baseball, senior Matthew Seales made the most of his last game. He was 4 for 4 at the plate, including a triple. He also had 5 RBI’s and 2 stolen bases in the game. Fellow senior Brennan Edie was also outstanding at the plate, also going 4 for 4, including a double. He also had 3 RBI’s and 2 stolen bases. Senior Paul Messenger was 2 for 4 with an RBI and a stolen base. Aston Hester was 1 for 3 with an RBI, Mason Murray was 1 for 2, and Jace Wilhite was 1 for 1. Colton Caskey had a sacrifice for an RBI. Edie, Messenger, and Jace Wilhite scored 3 runs each in the game. Murray scored two runs. Seales, Garrett Wilhite, Hester, Wren, and Levi Shaver each scored a run for the Rebels. 8th grader Hester had another good day on the mound, striking out 6 batters.
Congratulations to the Rebels on winning the final 3 games of their season, and thanks to the fans who supported them all year. Riverdale has some outstanding players that will be playing varsity baseball in the next few years, so the best of Riverdale baseball is yet to come.