Riverdale High School baseball coach Sean Temple feels some of his inexperienced players are still trying to find their way.
On Wednesday, his Rebels found a way to hammer 12 hits and draw nine walks during a 13-2 victory over Country Day at Wally Pontiff Jr. playground.
“We’ve had games like this one where we’ve been good at the plate and we’ve had games where it was kind of the other way,” said Temple, The Advocate’s District 10-4A Coach of the Year last season.
Temple laughed and said when his team is focused “we look good."
“Right now I’ve got about six guys in the lineup who have a lot of experience ... and the other four or five guys I rotate in there are still trying to find experience," he said.
Riverdale (8-6) has won five of its past seven games. The Rebels advanced all the way to the second round of the Class 4A state playoffs last season.
On Wednesday, senior right-hander Rydder Chriss (3-1) pitched a two-hitter and contributed three hits, including a two-run double in the Rebels’ seven-run fifth inning. The game was shortened to five innings because of the 10-run rule.
Chriss “consistently threw strikes,” said Country Day Coach Tommy Mathews. “He did a good job of keeping us off balance with his curveball.”
The bottom of Temple’s lineup was productive. Chriss bats ninth and Casey Pittman, who bats eighth, also had three hits, including a double, and drove home three runs. Juan Perez, who batted seventh, reached base all four times and scored two runs.
Country Day (2-3) was playing only its fifth game and Mathews is trying to blend together a changing lineup.
Justin Ibieta, who produced the Cajuns’ only two runs with a towering home run to left center field, was playing in first game and Hanson Moss his second. Both played on the Country Day state championship basketball team.
“We’ve got a very young team and a couple of kids who came from other schools who haven’t played baseball in a year or two,” Mathews said.
“We hit the ball well today,” Mathews said, “but the balls we did hit were at them and they made nice plays. They are a good team.
“It got a little ugly at the end.”