The Rough Riders showed both talent and heart by finishing off an impressive season by taking the championship game 20-6 over Rocket Fire on Saturday. The Rough Riders finished the season with an overall record of 9-1, as well as sweeping the season series from Rocket Fire by going 4-0. It was the first championship under the Rhodes/Abla regime. Does anyone see a dynasty forming?
For the young Rough Riders, it was a great season from beginning until the very last out of the Championship Game. The team always had great practices and all coaches were very happy with this group that was drafted with the exception of the two players that belonged to each coach respectively. Keeping a team together long term, can seem easier to win season after season, but putting together a team with mostly draft picks, takes great patience on the coaches and parents to see how it all will gel together. This team gelled from the onset.
The Championship game wasn’t the battle that most thought would be as the two expected teams were the Rough Riders and the Braves. The Rocket Fire crashed the party by shocking the Braves in their Thursday playoff game, setting the stage for a David vs Goliath type contest.
In the top of the first inning, the Rocket Fire were able to push three runs across, but the Rough Rider defense led by Kobin Abla ended a potential big inning by getting those three out before a 7-run max inning could happen.
The offensive juggernaut that is the Rough Rider offense then took their turns. Averaging 14.3 runs per game in their 10 regular and post-season games, the Rough Riders looked as if they might get out of the first inning with only being tied at three. That soon changed.
Dash led off with a single. Korbin followed with a single of his own. Camden then came up and hit the first of his two home runs to left center field, scoring Dash and Korbin ahead of him. After Maddox singled, Matthew lined out to the Rocket Fire pitcher. In his confusion, Maddox went to 2nd and started to third before he was forced out at first as the Rocket fire players gathered the ball and stepped on first base. With the bases now empty, Noah doubled with David singling Noah to third. Tucker then singled in Noah followed by Logan doubling in David from second base and Tucker stopping at third. Hudson hit a slow grounder that barely reached the grass and Tucker was able to score before he could be tagged out. Cristian would come up and turn the lineup over by singling in Logan from third. Dash came up for his second at bat of the inning and hit a grounder towards third. The Rocket Fire pitcher, Parker, fielded the ball and raced to third, tagging Hudson out to end the inning. But the tone was set as the Rough Riders scored six times on 11 hits.
The number of runs the Rocket Fire would score decreased each inning by one as the Rough Rider defense continued to field ground balls and make outs. Logan and Korbin got force outs at third base while Camden made nice catch at first base on a throw from Korbin to end the top of the second. Once again though, the Rough Rider bats would distance themselves from their opponent on the scoreboard.
In the bottom of the second, it would be much of the same for the Rough Riders. Korbin led off with a home run to left center followed by Camden’s second home run, also to left center. Maddox hit a pop fly single that landed just beyond second base. Matthew then singled with Maddox stopping at second. Noah would single to the outfield, driving Maddox in from second and Matthew going to third. After a David single kept Matthew at third, Tucker hit a soft single that just made it to the grass. Parker of Rocket Fire, fielded the ball cleanly and tagged Matthew out before he could step on home plate for the only out of the inning. Logan would single in Noah and Hudson would single in David. With bases still loaded, five runs across and only one out, Cristian would hit a coach pitch to right field that would score Tucker and Logan for the sixth and seventh runs and ending the inning. So after two innings, the Rough Riders would lead 13-5.
The third and final inning for the Fall Season would see Rocket Fire score only one run, but the Rough Riders would put up another seven. Dash singled and Korbin moved him to second on a ground out to first. Camden would hit a pop fly double with Dash stopping at third. Maddox would single in Dash, followed by a Matthew single of his own. Noah singled to the outfield and Camden would score on his hit. A David single would score Maddox and Tucker would follow with a base hit that scored Matthew. Logan drove in Noah with a hit and Hudson would end the scoring and the game with a base hit that scored David and Tucker. The umpire called the game as the mercy rule was put into effect and the Rough Rider players, coaches and parents would begin celebrating. With their first Championship, the players would receive their championship rings. Start of a dynasty?
Going forward, the Rough Rider players, coaches and parents will go on with their respective off season mode and celebrate amongst their families. They will celebrate with a team party and the players will receive their regular season first place trophies. Then the coaching staff will slowly begin discussing the upcoming 2018 Spring Season and the defense of their championship.
For now, I can only paraphrase a famous red headed broadcaster and tell you that it had and will continue to be my pleasure to coach these boys and that, “…there will be a new day, and eventually a new year. And when the upcoming winter gives way to spring, rest assured it will be time for Rough Rider baseball.”
Offensive totals, per category were as follows:
Batting average & On Base Percentage: David Porras (1.000)
Hits: Korbin Abla (23)
Doubles: Camden Rhodes (7)
Home Runs: Camden Rhodes and Maddox Evans (6)
RBI: Maddox Evans (22)
Runs scored: Korbin Abla (20)
Slugging: Maddox Evans (1.947)
After the game, it was also announced by the league that our very own, Coach Bryan, was named Coach of the Season as voted on by the other Head Coaches in the division. A very humbling honor to receive such an award in your first season as a head coach I might add. And yes, I did shed a tear or two upon receiving the award.
Team party has been scheduled for Monday, November 20th at Urban Air in Frisco, from 6pm-8pm. See email from Ms. Kristen for more information.