MIDLAND, Texas (KTSM) — It wasn’t the storybook ending the Riverside baseball team scripted, but the Rangers left it all out on the field in their 6-0 playoff loss to Stephenville on Saturday at Christensen Stadium in Midland. The Yellow Jackets ending Riverside’s season in a series sweep (2-0) in the Class 4A Regional Semifinals.
Following their Game 1 loss on Friday night, Stephenville had their ‘ace in the hole’ in pitcher Reece Elston. Riverside didn’t get a hit off Elston until the fifth inning as he throws a complete game shutout (7 IP), giving up just three hits and striking out eight in the win.
“That’s been their guy [Elston] in these playoffs. He’s just really good,” said Riverside head coach Rick Solis. “We are talking about a guy that looks a lot like Madison Bumgarner out there with his delivery and all. He did a great job.”
“He’s [Elston] one of the toughest pitchers we’ve faced all season, but I feel like we could’ve done more to keep the game close,” said Riverside senior Diego Flores.
The ‘Lone Rangers,’ the lone high school baseball team in El Paso left standing up to this point in the playoffs, were making their first appearance in the Sweet 16 since 2000. The Rangers finish the season 21-7 and will use this as fuel for another deep playoff run next season.
“It has been a while — not only just Riverside — since anyone in town has made a run like this,” said Solis. “For the younger guys, we talked about how this is what it looks like and this is what it takes to get to this point in the playoffs.”