Riverside junior Brody Koss has been a force both on the mound and at the plate for the Warriors during their playoff run.

With backs against wall, Koss powering scrappy Riverside

Trey Stewart's picture
By: 
Trey Stewart

Riverside baseball junior Brody Koss is making the most of his return from injury.

Koss sprained his ankle on April 5 against Wade Hampton. He wasn't cleared to play until nearly a month later. By the time Koss returned on May 1, Riverside was already into the playoffs — one loss away from being eliminated.

Koss is a major reason why, a week later, the Warriors are still fighting.

Against Westside on May 1, Koss pitched four flawless relief innings and earned the win. Facing Lancaster on May 3, Koss’ fifth-inning home run tied the game at two. Riverside eventually won 3-2 in 12 innings.

And in another do-or-die playoff matchup at rival Greer on May 7, Koss pitched a stellar complete game, powering the Warriors to another 3-2 win.

“Brady looked at me before that Westside game and said ‘I think I’m good to go,’” recalled Riverside head coach Michael Pettit. “We put him in and he threw really well for us… we’ve been leaning on him a lot this postseason. He’s been big.”

“It means a lot to be able to perform like this off an injury,” said Koss. “For the last month, I’ve just been sitting in there cheering on our guys. It’s great to be back out there and showing everyone what I can do.”

Koss tossed eight innings and allowed just five hits against Greer, striking out five batters in the win. Riverside enacted revenge against the rival Jackets after losing two of three to their cross-town rivals in the regular season.

The Warriors were motivated to face Greer again.

“It was always in the back of our mind that we could end up playing Greer down the line in the playoffs,” said Koss. “We were pretty upset they won the [regular season series] against us.”

Greer jumped out to an early 2-0 lead Tuesday night when a fly ball from Gavin Hug was misplayed, plating two runners. Riverside got the runs back in the top of the fourth with a Cameron Daniel RBI single and a bases-loaded walk to James Kakaras.

Kakaras roped a line drive to center field in the top of the eighth to put the Warriors up for good. Koss shut the Jackets down in the bottom half of the inning to end Greer’s season — and keep Riverside’s going.

“I’m not usually someone who shows a lot of emotion on the mound, but when we got that final out, I just let it all out,” said Koss. “I was going nuts. The whole team was going crazy.”

Despite losing to Indian Land in the first game of their playoff journey, the Warriors have now won three straight to keep their season alive.

Riverside’s run of play has earned it a rematch with the same Indian Land team that beat them 11-1 in the first round. They’ll face off on Wednesday, May 8 at 6:30 p.m. in Indian Land.

No matter what happens, Pettit said, his team’s fighting spirit has shone through.

“I’m super proud of the guys for how hard they're fighting. After we lost that first game [to Indian Land] we had our backs against the wall,” said Pettit. “But I told them we’re caged animals. We’ve got to find a way to keep this going and keep fighting.

“They just keep finding ways to win. We’re riding this train of ‘We ain’t done yet, boys.’ That’s been our rallying cry.”

GAME RECAP

Riverside     0    0    0    2    0    0    0    1    3

Greer          2    0    0    0    0    0    0    0    2

RIVERSIDE STAT LEADERS

James Kakaras - 1-4, 2 RBI, BB
Cameron Daniel - 1-3, RBI, BB
Leo Lopez-Reyes - 2-3, BB

Winning Pitcher: Brody Koss - 8 IP, 5 H, 2 R, 2 BB, 5K

GREER STAT LEADERS
Cole Bellinger - 1-3, R, BB
Trey Wendell - 1-4, R
Gavin Hug - 1-3

trey@greercitizen.com | 877-2076

 

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