Independence takes opener from Rocky River 6-5

Patriots Michael Rawlings delivers a strike. (Ed Berti)
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Noah Howie safe on steal attempt at second base. (Ed Berti)
CJ Brown ducks away from high and tight pitch. (Ed Berti)

In the opener, the Independence Patriots scored 3 runs in the bottom half of the seventh inning to defeat Rocky River 6-5.  The afternoon contest was a well played and pitched ball game for six solid innings.

The Ravens struck first when senior first baseman Brent Jones drilled a triple on the first pitch with a runner on base to drive in the RBI.  The Ravens went on to score another run in the inning on a double to take a 2-0 lead.

Rocky River added another run in the second inning off the Patriot starter Raja Milton to extend their early lead to 3-0 after two full innings of baseball.

In the fourth inning the Patriots scored a run when Noah Howie led off the inning with a base hit up the middle, he would steal second base, then Brandon Moser would smack another single up the gut to drive in Howie for the RBI.  On the throw home, Moser would be cut down at second base trying to stretch a single into a double.

After Rocky River scored two more runs in the top of the sixth to take a comfortable 5-1 lead, the Patriots would bounce back with two runs of their own.  Milton led off with a line drive single, CJ Brown followed with another single, after a wild pitch with runners on second and third, Moser would ground a single through the hole into left field on a 3-1 count to drive in both runners, to pick up his second and third RBI’s in the game.  After six innings the Ravens still had a 5-3 lead.

In the seventh, Rocky River would go down in order after working a walk on a 3-2 pitch.  The Patriots came up to bat in the home half of the seventh, with Jones on the mound in relief of Haley. He struggled, allowing 5 walks, 3 runs, with 2 earned to take the loss.  Moser would pick-up his 4th RBI of the game when he would draw a base on balls with the bases loaded with one out for the walk-off 6-5 Patriot win.

Raja Milton took the mound for the Patriots and pitched two innings, he allowed 3 hits and two earned runs while striking out five and walking one batter.  Michael Rawlings in relief pitched four innings allowing 1 earned run, 2 hits, and had four strikeouts.  Jacob Haislip pitched the seventh and faced four batters giving up just one walk.

Korey Haley the Ravens starter pitched a gutsy ballgame, he surrendered 3 runs on 5 hits, over six innings, while striking out four Patriots.

Meanwhile, Brandon Moser led all hitters going 2-3 with four RBI’s including the game winning walk-off base on balls.  Brent Jones went 2-3 with a triple and an RBI for the visitors.

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Ed Berti
Ed is retired and remains active as a freelance writer, local journalist and independent contractor. He is engaged in print and electronic media writing stories covering business, sports, hometown news and veteran's affairs including articles of interest to various media outlets. Ed is a graduate of Wagner College where he earned an MBA and holds a BBA from Pace University.
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