Patriots spoil senior night for the Mustangs

Nate Brown slides into third base at Myers Park High School.(Ron Morris)
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On Friday night the Independence Patriots baseball team traveled to Myers Park High School and wrapped up the 2018 regular season by knocking off the first place Myers Park Mustangs 5-4 and spoiling the Mustangs’ senior night.  The loss also caused the Mustangs to share the conference title with the Hickory Ridge Bulls with both teams finishing conference play with 12-2 conference records.

With the road win over the Mustangs, the Patriots finished the regular season with a 10-4 conference record and in sole possession of third place in the Southwestern 4A Conference.

Indy’s Matthew Mangum looses his balance as rounds third base. He recovered and was safe at third.
(Ron Morris)

Myers Park got things going in the bottom of the second inning.  With Donnie Dockery on third base, Jack Ahlum safely bunted down the third base line to score Dockery.  Ahlum score on a fielder’s choice and the Mustangs took a 2-0 led.

Indy got on the scoreboard in the top of the third inning when CJ Brown singled to center field with two outs.  With Bubba Comer at the plate, Brown  was awarded second base on a Myers Park balk.  Comer doubled to center scoring Brown to make the score 2-1.

The Mustangs answered back in the bottom half of the frame.  Patrick Alvarez drew a walk and stole second and third.  Donnie Dockery hit a single to left field to score Alvarez and put the Mustangs up 3-1 after three full innings.

Corbin Berkovics makes the play at first.(Ron Morris)

Indy got one run back in the top the fourth inning.  With one out, Indy’s catcher Noah Howie was hit by a pitch and awarded first base.  Chase Rappe came in to run for Howie.  Pitcher Corbin Berkovics came to the plate and singled to left putting runners on first and second.  Ben Hagan came in to run for Berkovics.  Ryan Mangum stepped up and drew a walk to load the bases.  Raja Milton singled to left to score Rappe to make the score 3-2 after four full innings.

The Patriots had a big three run inning in the top of the fifth.  With one out, Bubba Comer singled to left field.  Nate Brown reached on an infield hit putting runners on first and second.  Matthew Mangum hit a double to right field scoring Comer.  Noah Howie came to the plate and hit a single to center field scoring Brown and the Patriots took the lead 4-3.  With Mangum on third, Corbin Berkovics hit a sacrifice fly to center scoring Mangum and taking a 5-3 lead.

Raja Milton took the mound in the fifth inning and Berkovics moved to first base.  Milton held the Mustangs scoreless in the fifth.

The Mustangs got back on the board in the bottom of the sixth scoring one run on two hits cutting the score 5-4 as the teams headed into the final inning.

Indy’s Ryan Mangum applies the tag to Myers Park’s Jack Ahlum, but the umpire called him safe.(Ron Morris)

In the top of the seventh the Patriots got two hits but were unable to manage any runs.In the bottom of the seventh, Myers Park’s Cole Williams reached after being hit by a pitch.  RJ Rhem was next up for the Mustangs and was called out on strikes.  Pres Cavenaugh stepped to the plate and hit a shot to the right field wall but it was hauled in by Nate Brown for the second out.  Will Cords followed and hit a shot to right, and again Nate Brown made the catch to end the inning and the game.

The Patriots improved to 10-4 in conference play as the teams move to the Conference tournament that starts on Monday.

Independence  0  0  1  1  3  0  0  –  5

Myers Park      0  2   1  0  0  1  0  –  4

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