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Chieftains win two in tournament
Ty catch
Right fielder Ty Hougan with a strong catch in Saturday's game against Hillsboro, where Riverdale came away with the win of 7-0. - photo by Stacie Roen

MUSCODA - The Chieftain baseball team hosted Platteville, Royall, and Hillsboro in a varsity tournament on Saturday, April 16, picking up a pair of nonconference wins.

“We hit the ball extremely well, got great pitching and played good defense,” said Coach Curt Thompson. “When you do all three of those things at the same time you usually win.”

Riverdale, 16, Platteville, 1

The Chieftains started out the day by pounding out 15 hits in a 16-1 win. Nine different Chieftains picked up hits, while seven different players drove in a run.

Meanwhile, Elijah Cannon may have pitched the best of his career as he held Platteville to just one hit and struck out ten. Coach Thompson

In the first, Cannon picked up a pair of strikeouts to quickly set down the Hillmen. In the bottom half of the inning, Trevor Troxel ripped a one out double down the line to get the Chieftains started. Trevor Johnson reached on an error, followed by Caleb Johnson with a blast to left that bounced up against the fence for an RBI double. Cannon would follow with an RBI ground out.

Platteville went quietly in the second, and Riverdale broke open the game. Dalton Haile led off and reached on an error. Ethan Haffner followed with a bunt single. Bradon Roen ripped a line shot to left for an RBI single. Trevor Troxel and Trevor Johnson would both double in a run. C. Johnson ripped an RBI single and Cannon a sac fly, bringing the Chieftains to 7-0 lead.

“We looked really good at the plate, as everyone swung the bats well today,” said the coach.

Platteville picked up an unearned run in the third, but the Chieftains came back quickly with three in the bottom of the third. Haffner led with a walk and steal to second. Roen then walked. One out later, T. Johnson would grounded out, with Haffner scoring on the play. After C. Johnson drew a walk, Cannon scorched a shot to left center for a two run triple, bringing the lead to 10-1.

“Some good hard nosed baseball in that inning,” said Coach Thompson. “I liked our aggressive play and slides.”

In the bottom of the fourth, Riverdale put the inning away, scoring six more runs on six more hits. Ty Hougan started the uprising with a line single to right. One out later, Haffner and Roen drew back-to-back walks to load the bases. Trevor Thompson blistered a single to knock in a pair. T. Johnson followed with an RBI single. C. Johnson singled to reload the bases. A walk by Cannon forced in a run. Brady Fox and Dalton Haile added RBI singles, bringing the score to 16-1.

The Chieftains retired Platteville 1-2-3 in the fifth to pick up a nice win.

“The guys bounced back and played an excellent game,” said the coach. “Elijah was dominant out there.  That is the type of baseball we can play.”

Box Score – AB-Runs-Hits-RBI: Roen 2-2-1-1; Troxel 4-3-3-3 T. Johnson 4-4-2-3; C. Johnson 3-1-3-2; Cannon 2-0-1-5; Ekleberry 2-0-0-0; Fox 1-0-1-1; Hougan 4-0-1-0; Haile 4-2-2-1; Harris 0-0-0-0; Haffner 2-3-1-0; Schaefer 0-0-0-0; and Sperry 0-0-0-0

Pitching Stats – IP-Hits-Runs-ER-BB-K: Cannon 5-1-1-0-2-10

Chieftains blank Hillsboro

In the second game of the day, Riverdale received an excellent pitching performance from freshman lefty Michael Schaefer as he tossed a complete game shutout over a very good Hillsboro team. Schaefer struck out seven and gave up just five hits to get the win.

“Michael had good command of his pitches and I thought we played a real gritty game against a solid Hillsboro team,” said Coach Thompson. “We again played some very hard nosed baseball. I really enjoyed the intensity we played with.”

The tone of this game was set in the first inning. With one out and a man on first, right fielder Ty Hougan made a nice catch on a sinking line drive, firing back to Casey Ekleberry at first to double up the runner and end the inning.

Roen got the Chieftains going in the bottom of the first as he led off with a single and a steal to second. One out later, T. Johnson would deliver an RBI single.

In the second, the Tigers threatened, but a pair of strikeouts got Riverdale out of the jam. They added a run in the bottom half of the second. Dalton Haile continued to sizzle as he lined a single to left. Haffner reached on a fielder’s choice and then stole second. Roen promptly singled to put runners on the corners. T. Thompson got the job done with a sac fly.

After Hillsboro went quietly in the third, the Chieftains added a run. With two outs, Schaefer sliced a double to left. Brady Fox came into run and race home as Ty Hougan delivered an RBI single to make it 3-0.

“We did all the little things right as we picked up those early runs,” the coach said.

Schaefer cruised through the fourth, and then Riverdale scored four big runs. Haffer led off and reached on an error. Moments later, he stole second and moved to third on a wild pitch. Roen drove him home with a sac fly. T. Thompson walked then raced to third when T. Johnson lined a single to left center. One out later, Cannon walked to load the bases. Schaefer battled to pick up a walk and forced in a run. Hougan capped the scoring with a crisp two run single to right, bringing the score to 7-0.

“Ty had a real nice game and really gave us a lift,” said Coach Thompson.

From that point on neither team would score. Schaefer continued to pitch smartly and Riverdale played solid defense.

“Very good outing by Michael and our entire team,” said the coach. “They came out and made a statement today and you have to give them a lot of credit for their play today. I would expect us to play with this intensity the rest of the season!”

Box Score – AB-Runs-Hits-RBI: Roen 3-1-2-1; Troxel 1-1-0-1; T. Johnson 4-1-2-1; C. Johnson 4-0-0-0; Cannon 4-1-2-0; Ekleberry 0-0-0-0; Schaefer 2-0-1-1; Fox 0-1-0-0; Harris 1-0-0-0; Hougan 4-0-2-3; Haile 3-0-1-0; Haffner 3-2-0-0; and Sperry 0-0-0-0

Pitching Stats – IP-Hits-Runs-ER-BB-K: Schaefer 7-5-0-0-1-7