In Independence baseball games this week, the Patriots opened Southwestern 4A Conference play with back-to-back games against the Charlotte Catholic Cougars.
Independence 0, Charlotte Catholic 8
Zach Vigre and Chris Chester combined to shut out the Patriots on the Cougars’ home field pushing Catholic’s record to 2-1 in conference play and 5-1 overall.
Zach Vigre gave up no runs, one hit, walked one and struck out seven Indy batters in 5.2 innings of work to earn the win for the Cougars.
Chris Chester closed out the game for Catholic allowing one hit, with no walks while striking out two and shut out the Patriots in the final 1.1 innings on the mound.
Catholic scored 8 runs on seven hits to take the conference victory.
Independence. 000 000 0 – 0
Charlotte Catholic 223 100 X – 8
Charlotte Catholic 9, Independence 7
With rain in the forecast, Friday’s game was pushed up to Thursday evening. The fans that braved the chilly weather at John W. Matthews field at Independence High School saw a hard fought game between the Cougars and the Patriots.
The Cougars started early by scoring two runs in both the first and second innings and added a single run in the fourth inning to take a 5-0 lead. Indy scored its first run in the bottom half of the fifth inning, With one out, Cooper Golden reached on a walk and advanced to second on a wild pitch. He later worked his way to third base on a passed ball. After Indy made its second out, Sam Merli singled to right field scoring Golden making the score 5-1. The Patriots’ big inning came in the bottom of the sixth with Indy plating six runs and taking a 7-5 lead.
Garrett Lawrence led off with an infield hit. Nick Reddish reached on an error moving Lawrence to second. Both runners advanced on a passed ball putting runners on second and third. After Noah Neubauer loaded the bases with a walk, Cooper Golden followed and singled to right field scoring Lawrence and Reddish making the score 5-3.
With two on, Indy’s Frankie Jones, Jr. loaded the bases with a bunt. Sam Merli came to the plate and drew a walk walking in Neubauer to make the score 5-4 with the Cougars still in the lead. Cole Coats stepped to the plate and hit back to the pitcher. The Cougars’ pitcher made a wild throw to first base causing the ball to end up at the right field fence. Before the Cougars could get the ball back to the infield, Indy scored Golden, Jones and Merli to take the lead 7-5 heading into the seventh inning.
Going into the top of the seventh, Indy needed three outs to end the game and take the conference win; however, Charlotte Catholic came fighting back and scored four runs on three hits and two walks to retake the lead 9-7.
The Patriots were unable to score in the bottom half of the inning and the Cougars took the conference win and improved to 3-1 in conference play and 6-1 overall.
Independence now stands at 3-3 overall and 0-2 in the conference. The Patriots will return to conference play at home Friday March 24, with a doubleheader against Garinger.
Charlotte Catholic. 220 100 4 – 9
Independence 000 016 0 – 7