EL PASO, Texas (KTSM) — The Riverside baseball team can now be referred to as the ‘Lone Rangers.’ Riverside is the lone local high school baseball team remaining in the Texas high school baseball playoffs, competing in Class 4A for the first time this season.
The Rangers have scored series wins over Monahans in the Bi-District Round, Snyder in the Area Round and, most recently, Lubbock Estacado in the Regional Quarterfinals. Their win in a decisive Game 3 over Estacado last Saturday came in dramatic fashion, a walk-off base hit from Orlando Samaniego.
“It’s a different guy every night. Every big situation that we’ve been able to produce in, it has been a different person,” said Riverside head coach Rick Solis. “For us, that’s huge because one guy doesn’t have to carry the weight.”
Riverside has since turned their attention to, Stephenville, their opponent in the Regional Semifinals (Sweet 16). It’s the Rangers’ first Sweet 16 appearance since 2000 when they made a run to the State Tournament (Final Four) some 21 years ago.
“We technically have three aspects of the game: throw strikes, hit the ball — put the ball in play — and make plays on defense,” said Riverside senior outfielder Aaron Aguilar. “If we do that and we come out prepared, I think we’ll be alright.”
Being the ‘Lone Rangers,’ Riverside has seen an outpouring of support from all of El Paso. From other teams in the area, to coaches and even the El Paso Chihuahuas who took to Twitter to show their support.
“At this point, we are doing it for our community,” said Solis. “Obviously, Riverside comes first, but we’ve felt the love from all of El Paso. The Chihuahuas tweeted at us yesterday and we have gotten a sense of that support. We are going to go out and represent El Paso the best way we can.”
Game 1 of this ‘Best of 3’ series is scheduled for 5 p.m. MT on Friday in Midland. Game 2 will be on Saturday at 10 a.m. MT in Midland with Game 3, if necessary, immediately to follow. The Rangers come into the series having won 15 of their last 17 games.