On Wednesday night at West Mecklenburg High School Independence used two eight run innings to seize momentum in a 19-3 blow out win over the West Mecklenburg Hawks.
The Patriots jumped out to an early 3-0 first inning lead. Indy’s lead off hitter Bryson Jusko singled to left field, followed by a CJ Brown single to center. Noah Howie stepped in and singled to drive in Jusko. Wilson Lohrer was next up and hit a deep shot to center scoring Brown and Howie.
In the bottom half of the inning the Hawks answered with three runs of their own; however, those were the last runs the Patriots defense would give up.
In top of the third West Meck’s pitcher Michael Davenport could not find the strike zone. Davenport threw walks to Noah Howie and Wilson Lohrer. Howie, who had stolen second and third, scored on a Tate Peterman sacrifice fly to center. Tyson Clawson drew a walk putting runners on first and third. While Jacob Haislip was at the plate, the infield umpire called a balk on Davenport scoring Lohrer and moving Clawson to second.
Brandon Moser came to the plate and doubled to left center scoring Clawson. After Hoven Perez drew a walk, Bryson Jusko laid down a bunt and finished up on third after a wild throw to first.
CJ Brown reached on an error and Noah Howie made his second appearance at the plate and was awarded first base after being hit by a pitch.
West Meck called time out to make a pitching change. The Hawks Daniel Eury took the mound to face Indy’s Wilson Lohrer. On his second at bat in the inning, Lohrer drove in Brown and Howie on a deep shot to center. But, Lohrer was thrown out at second as the Hawks finally ended the inning trailing 11-3.
In the top of the fourth Indy posted another eight run inning. Tate Peterman led off and drew a walk and advanced to second on a wild pitch. Tyson Clawson drew a walk. Coach Skinner called for the double steal that put Peterman on third and Clawson on second. With two on Jacob Haislip hit a hard line drive that was fielded by the Hawks’ second baseman. Clawson, who had headed toward third, could not get back in time to prevent the double play.
With two away, Brandon Moser reached on a fielder’s choice scoring Peterman. After Hoven Perez reached on a single, Bryson Jusko drove in Indy’s base runners. Indy loaded the bases with CJ Brown and Noah Howie drawing walks. Michael Rawlings came to the plate and drew another walk scoring Jusko.
West Meck brought in Z-Darrious Clyburn to relieve Eury. Clyburn also had a hard time finding the strike zone as he gave up three walks and one run before retiring the Patriots.
In the bottom of the fourth, Jacob Haislip came in and pitched one inning of relief. He faced three batters and gave up no hits. Haislip walked the Hawks lead off hitter. With no outs the base runner attempted to steal second. Indy’s catcher, Noah Howie, threw out the runner at second. With one away Haislip struck out the next two hitters to end the inning.
Raja Milton got the call in the bottom of the fifth. Milton struck out the first two batters before giving up a walk. However, Milton finished the game with a strike out as Indy took the non-conference win 19-3.
Senior Ben Hagan got the start for the Patriots. He pitched three full innings giving up three first inning runs on three hits. He struck out three and walked three picking up the win.
Also note worthy was Noah Howie’s performance behind the plate. Howie gunned down three West Meck’s baserunners trying to steal. He threw two out in the second inning. One was attempting to steal second and the other attempted to steal third. Howie got his third pick off in the fourth when a Hawks’ baserunner attempted to steal second.
The Patriots are 3-3 on the season.
Independence 308 80X X – 19
West Mecklenburg 300 00X X – 3