Auburn Riverside pitchers punch 20 tickets in win vs. Cleveland

Andre Muneton and Jackson Padur dominate on the mound for the Ravens.

After taking down Decatur High School for the first time in seven years a day prior, the Auburn Riverside baseball team cracked another feat that might not have ever been touched in the school’s 29-year history on the baseball field.

From an outsider’s perspective, it may appear like the Ravens just beat Cleveland High School (Seattle), 10-2, an Eagle team that has won just 19% of their games since coming out of the pandemic.

But in reality, it was utter domination from Riverside pitchers of a historic variety. In a regulation high school baseball game that doesn’t go to extra innings, there are 21 total outs that can be made. On March 13, Riverside pitchers struck out 20 Cleveland batters, which might be a school record.

“When our pitchers are aggressive and they pound the zone, we are really good,” said Head Coach Brad Comstock.

It began with starting pitcher Andre Muneton, the hard throwing right-hander who got off to a blazing start. Across his first three innings of work, he was perfect, striking out the entire Cleveland lineup without allowing a baserunner.

Muneton was just attacking the Eagle batters, with a steady mix of fastballs and a couple of sliders mixed in, making Muneton look unhittable.

“I was feeling confident. I was attacking them first with the fastball and trying to get up 0-1. Attacking with a first pitch strike,” Muneton said.

All of that momentum Muneton had developed so far came to a screeching halt in the fourth inning. After the leadoff batter reached on an error, Muneton recorded a strikeout and then walked the next two batters, loading the bases.

The first and only hit immediately followed as Sam Bernier hit a cue shot down the third base line that just narrowly passed over the base, allowing just a single run to score. The second run came across on Muneton’s third walk of the inning. Muneton was able to finish the inning and record his 12th strikeout of the game.

“I just had to step off (the mound), think about it, relax and take deep breaths, that really calms me down,” said Muneton.

Up to that point in the game, the Raven offense had been cruising, maybe not to the expectation of Comstock. But they were getting the job done. In the first inning, the Ravens took a 1-0 lead after Nate Soto made his way around the bases and scored on a passed ball.

In the second inning, the Ravens put up a four spot. The first three batters of the inning reached with none out. Two of the four runs scored on wild pitches (Sims, Melius), one run scored on an error (Muneton) and the lone RBI was off the bat of Will Simms, who scored Cole Svendsen.

Auburn Riverside took a six-run lead into the fourth inning thanks to one more run that was scored in the bottom of the third. Caleb Anardi led off the inning with a triple into the right center gap, and was brought home by Muneton to increase the lead to 7-0.

After Cleveland got their two runs in that fourth inning, right-hander Jackson Padur slammed the door shut out of the bullpen. Padur finished the game on the bump for the Ravens, which was a pleasant sight to see because of how his first outing of the season went. If Padur can be this electric night in and night out, the Ravens’ stock just went way up.

“Padur came out shoving. I liked how he attacked hitters too. He was just pounding the zone,” Muneton said on his fellow staffer.

Throughout his three innings of work, he struck out eight Eagle batters, and allowed zero hits and just one walk. He struggled in his last innings against Decatur, but found his groove the following night.

“He is another kid where if his head is right and he starts filling up the strike zone and builds that confidence, he is really good on the bump… It’s just the mental game for him. He has some good nights and bad nights. But he’s managing that well right now. It was a really good night for him tonight,” Comstock said.

The Ravens’ offense wasn’t done either — they scratched and clawed four more runs across for some late night insurance under the lights at Auburn Riverside. Andrew Shrader came across to score on a what would have been sacrifice fly, but the left fielder misjudged it, and the ball hit the turf for a 7-2 lead after five innings.

“It’s important to keep competing in games like this… It’s important for them to learn how to battle those games early,” Comstock said.

In the sixth, Thad Dela Cruz and Shrader combined for three RBI on back-to-back singles. Good teams finish in games like this. Pitching is thought to be of paramount importance for the Ravens.

“It’s going to be pitching for us. We lost our all-everything in Cole Foster, both on the bump and on offense. Offensively, I think we’re going to be okay. We’ve got a lot of young guys that can swing it,” Comstock said.

Will Sims takes a swing against Cleveland. Ben Ray / The Reporter

Will Sims takes a swing against Cleveland. Ben Ray / The Reporter

Jackson Padur eyes down the Eagle batters coming out of the bullpen. Ben Ray / The Reporter

Jackson Padur eyes down the Eagle batters coming out of the bullpen. Ben Ray / The Reporter