MINT HILL, NC – The Independence Patriots baseball team used a 4-run inning to improve to 2-1 on the season with a 8-5 home win at the John W. Matthews field on Monday hosting the visiting Mallard Creek Mavericks.
Senior Cole Coates started on the mound for the Patriots and went three and two thirds innings. After junior Mike Short pitched one and two thirds innings, sophomore Don Thomas closed out the game and earned the win by not allowing a hit and giving up one unearned run for the victory.
Mallard Creek took an early lead when their lead off batter hit a hard line drive over the left field wall to take a 1-0 lead. The Mavericks’ next hitter reached on a long single to center field. The Mallard Creek runner advanced to second on an Indy error and scored on a fielder’s choice to give the Mavericks a 2-0 lead.
Indy bounced back in the bottom half of the second inning. Brian Crowder led off with a double to the left field wall. Crowder advanced to third base on a passed ball and scored on an Isaiah Redfearn sacrifice grounder to make the score 2-1 in favor of Mallard Creek.
In the bottom half of the third inning the Patriots offense came to life and posted four runs to take a 5-2 lead.
Frankie Jones, Jr. led off with an infield hit to the Maverick’s shortstop. Indy’s Sam Merli was next up. Jones stole a second before Merli drove him home with a single to right field. With Merli at first base, Mallard Creek attempted a pick-off play. However, the throw was over the first baseman’s head and wound up in right field and Merli ended up on third base. Garrett Lawerence followed and drew a walk. Again, Mallard Creek attempted another pick-off play at first base, as before the throw was wild and ended up in right field. Merli scored from third and Lawerence came to rest on third base. Joe Reddish stepped to the plate and hit a triple to the right-center wall scoring Lawrence. Reddish came home on a passed ball to give the Patriots a 5-2 lead.
With two outs and no one on base, Indy gave up a walk, three singles and allowed a runner to reach on a single to plate two runs to make the score 5-4 in favor of the Patriots.
After the Mavericks tied the score 5-5 in the top half of the fifth inning, Indy re-took the lead when Joe Reddish reached after being hit by a pitch. Cole Coats drove Reddish home to give Indy a 6-5 lead after five full innings.
After holding the Mavericks scorless in the top half of the sixth inning, the Patriots put the final nail in Mallard Creeks’ coffin by scoring two runs in the bottom half of the inning. With one away, Indy’s Cooper Golden laid down a bunt and reached second base on a throwing error. Frankie Jones, Jr. came to the plate and bunted. Again, there was a throwing error by the Mavericks’ pitcher. Golden scored and with Jones’ speed he was safe at third base. Zac Mangum came to the plate and drove Jones home with an infield hit to make the final score 8-5.
Indy improved to 2-1 with Queen’s Grant coming up next.
Mallard Creek. 200 210 0 – 5
Independence 014 012 X – 8