Riverdale is the District 9-4A baseball champion again.
The Rebels captured a third consecutive district championship by recording an 8-1 victory against Ben Franklin on Thursday night at Mike Miley Stadium.
Riverdale and Ben Franklin each finished with 5-1 records in league play, but the Rebels advance to the state playoffs as district champion because of a higher power rating, Riverdale coach Sean Temple said.
Juniors Brenden Baudry and Kyle Collet combined on a two-hit pitching effort, and the Rebels capitalized on eight Falcons errors to improve to 12-2 in their last 14 games.
Riverdale, 18-9 overall, rebounded from a 5-0 loss to De La Salle on Wednesday by winning for the fifth time in six games.
Ben Franklin, 11-13 overall, also is scheduled to advance to the postseason in the Select Schools Division II playoffs. The visiting Falcons entered having won six straight, including a 4-3 victory against Riverdale on April 3.
“This is the one thing we talk about from Day 1, which is to win the district title because it’s the only sure way into the playoffs,’’ Temple said as his players celebrated behind him. “We’ve had a couple of rough games this season, including the the first loss to (Ben Franklin).
“But I’m proud of the way we played tonight. I’m happy for my seniors because this is the third district title for them.’’
Baudry (6-0) allowed two hits and one run while striking out five and walking five over the first 5.1 innings.
Collet took over in the sixth with Riverdale leading 5-1. He worked out of a one-out jam with runners at first and second by recording two strikeouts. Riverdale’s junior left-hander retired all five hitters he faced, including four by strikeout.
Riverdale scored two runs in the fourth and fifth innings to take a 5-1 lead, giving Baudry and reliever Kyle Collet all the cushion they would need.
The Rebels capitalized on a Ben Franklin passed ball and outfield error in the fourth to pad their lead to 3-0. Baudry doubled to right with one out to start the rally, advanced to third on a passed ball of a strikeout and scored on another passed ball.
Shortstop Kevin Davis scored the second run via a misplayed fly to right field after reaching on a fielder’s choice.
Run-scoring singles by designated Elijah Morris and catcher Manny Rosado accounted for Riverdale’s two runs in the fifth.
The Rebels then used three Franklin errors in the sixth to score three more insurance runs.
Riverdale manufactured a run in the top of the first to take a 1-0 lead when second baseman Diego Zepeda laid down a squeeze bunt with one out to score Davis from third base. Davis walked to lead off the inning, stole second and advanced to third on center fielder Donald Olivier’s infield single in front of the plate.
First baseman Cameron Dunn’s RBI single with two outs in the fifth accounted for Ben Franklin’s lone run.
Both teams stranded eight runners.