Butler Sweeps Indy Spoils Senior Night

Senior Cole Coates got the start on Senior Night.
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MINT HILL, NC – The week of April, 24, 2023 marked the last week of the North Carolina High School Athletic Association regular scheduled baseball season and the beginning of the two-game series between arch-rivals Independence and Butler.

Tuesday’s Game April 25, 2023

Independence 5, Butler 15

The first game of the series was played at Butler High School. Indy’s Joe Reddish got the rivalry game started with an infield hit. Reddish was forced out at second on a Sam Merli grounder to Butler’s third baseman who made the throw to second for the force out.  Butler was unable to turn the double play as Merli beat the throw to first.

Nick Reddish came to the plate and blasted a double to center field to score Merli from first base.  Frankie Jones, Jr. followed with a single to score Nick Reddish.  Jones, Jr. tried to stretch his single to second base but was called out at second ending the top half of the inning with two runs.In the bottom half of the inning Butler answered back by scoring two runs on two hits tying the score at 2-2.

After holding Indy scoreless in the top of the second inning, Butler added four runs on four hits to take a 6-2 lead. Cooper Golden led off the third inning with a walk and moved to second on a Joe Reddish sacrifice.  After Sam Merli reached on an infield hit that scored Golden, Merli scored on an error by the Butler center fielder who dropped a Nick Reddish fly ball to make the score 6-4 in favor of the Bulldogs. However, Butler added two runs of their own making the score 8-4.

Indy failed to score in the fourth inning but Butler added two more runs on three hits to take a 10-4 lead.

Cooper Golden led off the fifth inning by reaching on a throwing error by the Butler pitcher.  Joe Reddish moved Golden over on a sacrifice bunt. After Sam Merli walked, Cole Coates came to the plate and hit a sacrifice fly to center field that scored Golden for the Patriots’ fifth and final run of the evening.  After holding the Patriots scoreless in the top of the sixth, the Bulldogs put the game away in the bottom half of the inning by scoring five runs on four hits and three walks to take a 15-5 lead and ended the game with a conference victory.

Independence   2  0  2  0  1  0  –    5

Butler                2  4  2  2  0  5   –  15

Monday’s Game

May 1, 2023

Butler 14   Independence 5

After three days of rain, Indy was finally was able to host the Bulldogs on Monday, May 1, for the second game in the series.   Before the game started the Patriots honored nine seniors and their parents.  The senior players were: Joe Reddish, Garrett Lawrence, EJ Carr, Cooper Golden, Sam Merli, Cole Coats, Jackson Cannon, Noah Neubauer and Zac Mangum.

After a scoreless first two innings, Butler got on the scoreboard with an Alex Angelon solo home run over the left field wall.  The Bulldogs added two more runs on RBIs by Carson Carver and Manuel Izarra to give Butler a 3-0 lead.

The Bulldogs added five more runs in the top of the fourth to take an 8-0 lead.  In the home half of the inning the Patriots added five runs of their own.  After Indy’s leadoff batter struck out, Zac Mangum walked and scored on a Brian Crowder sacrifice fly.  Julius Slade also drew a walk and later was walked in for Indy’s second run in the inning.  Cooper Golden walked and scored on a Joe Reddish hard grounder in the first and second base gap.  With Reddish’s speed he beat Butler’s first baseman to the bag.

After Sam Merli walked, Cole Coats hit a shot to Butler’s shortstop who attempted to make the force out at second, but his throw was off and went into the outfield scoring Reddish and Merli making the score 8-5 in favor of the Bulldogs.

Both teams went scoreless in the fifth inning. However, Butler added a run in top of the sixth to take a 9-5 lead going into the final inning.

In the final stanza, the Bulldogs added five runs on two hits and three walks to take a 14-5 lead.  In the bottom half of the inning, Butler struck out the side and took the conference victory.

Butler                  0  0  3  5  0  1  5  –  14

Independence    0  0  0  5  0  0  0  –    5

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