Hickory Ridge outscores Patriots

Indy’s Corbin Berkovics faced 21 Ragin’ Bull batters and gave up only two hits in five and one third innings.(Ron Morris)
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On Thursday night the Independence Patriots’ baseball team traveled to Hickory Ridge High School for a Southwestern 4A Conference baseball game against the Ragin’ Bulls.

The game quickly became a pitching duel between Indy’s senior Corbin Berkovics and Hickory Ridge’s senior Blake Dockery.

Berkovics pitched five and one third innings and faced 21 batters.  He gave up two hits, while striking out five Bulls hitters and giving up two walks and two runs.  Dockers pitched six full innings and faced 23 Patriots batters.  He struck out eight, walked four, allowed two hits and gave up one run.

The Patriots got on the board first in the top of the third inning.  Nate Brown led off the inning with a double to right field.  Matthew Mangum was up next.  After Brown stole third,  Mangum hit a sacrifice fly to the outfield driving in Brown for Indy’s only run.

CJ Brown slides safely into third base in Thursday’s night game against Hickory Ridge.(Ron Morris)

Indy’s defense held until the bottom of the sixth inning.  The Bulls’ RJ Coard led off the inning with a walk.  Isaac Parker stepped in and bunted down the first baseline to move Coard to second.  With one out and one on, Michael Mutterer came to the plate and hit a hard grounder to Indy’s shortstop Ryan Mangum who bobbled the ball allowing Mutterer to reach on an error.  With runners on first and third and only one out, Coach Cooke called for a pitching change.  Senior left hander Jake McDaniel took the mound and Berkovics moved to first base.

Corbin Berkovics and Drew Harris attempt a pick off play at first base. (Ron Morris)

The Bulls Conor McGee stepped in and was awarded first base after being hit by a pitch.  With the bases loaded and one out, Jose Vargas hit a hard grounder up the middle scoring Coard and Mutterer to make the score 2-1.  McDaniel finished the inning by striking out the next two Bulls batters.

In the top of the seventh inning, Jeremiah Boyd came in to close the game for the Ragin’ Bulls.  Boyd sat down the Patriots in order to preserve the win and moved the Bulls into a tie for first place with Myers Park.

Independence holds third place with a 5-4 conference record.

Independence   0  0  1  0  0  0  0  –  1

Hickory Ridge   0  0  0  0  0  2  X  –  2

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