Turnabout is fair play. This past November, Riverside Academy traveled to Shreveport only to lose at Calvary Baptist in the football playoffs.
Tuesday was Riverside’s turn. The Rebels sent the visiting Cavaliers home with an 8-2 elimination loss in the second round of the Class 2A baseball playoffs in Reserve.
Seventh-seeded Riverside (17-10-1), top-ranked in the last Louisiana Baseball Coaches Association’s poll, will now face Wednesday’s Runnels-Loreauville winner in the quarterfinals. Calvary, the 10th seed, finished the season 21-12.
Senior right-hander Sean Mohon (5-3) pitched a complete game, six-hitter and sophomore three-hole hitter Mason Vicknair gave the Rebels all the runs they needed with a long three-run, first-inning home run. That was more than enough for Mohon who allowed only a second-inning, lead-off homer to his Calvary pitching counterpart Jake Krews and an unearned run in the fourth.
“Sean did an excellent job for us on the mound,” Riverside coach Frank Cazeaux said. “I was a little concerned about their club because they have a little power, but Sean did a nice job.”
Mohon threw 98 pitches, 67 for strikes, pounding the strike zone on the first pitch of many Calvary at-bats. He finished with six strikeouts and two walks. His control was even too good for Cazeaux’s liking at times in the second inning, catching too much of the plate on consecutive 0-2 counts that resulted in Krews’ homer followed by a single.
“It may be my last home game at Riverside, so we had to have a good game,” Mohon said. “Everybody did their job (Tuesday). It was a team win. Starting with a lead in the beginning helps a lot.”
Riverside lead-off hitter Tyler Gauthier, who reached base all four times including three singles, set the table for the Rebels. In the first, after Gauthier’s single and an infield single by T.J. St. Pierre, Vicknair belted his three-run homer over the left field wall.
“I saw my pitch early on and just gave it a good hack,” Vicknair said. “It felt good just doing the things I could for my team and not trying to do too much.”
“We knew (Vicknair) was a good player,” said Calvary Baptist coach Todd Walker, former LSU great and major leaguer. “We didn’t want to pitch to him, but we had to in the first inning, and he hit it out of the park on us. When you get behind early, it’s tough to catch up.”
RA also had a four-run third inning, taking advantage of control problems by Krews. The Rebels parlayed four walks with a pair of two-run scoring singles by Brandon Morris and Jared Hymel to build an 8-1 lead. Riverside added an insurance run in the fifth. With one out, Evan Veron doubled down the right field line, moved to third on a wild pitch and scored on a ground out.
“If the other starter pitches better than your starter, you’re going to get beat most of the time,” Walker said. “Our team was a team that kind of overachieved. Riverside has a great team, and we wish them well.”