Through six innings, Wichita Independent controlled it’s fate.
With an eight-run lead, the Panthers needed just three outs to close out Sacred Heart and win the third-place game at the Class 3A baseball tournament. The Knights nearly made them wait another half inning, as they scored six runs in the top half of the seventh. Independent’s Scott Spiker was able to halt the rally by striking out Jordan McMillian for a 10-8 win.
The victory came after a heartbreaking 3-2 loss to Pittsburg Colgan in the semifinals earlier Friday.
"I wasn’t (surprised)," Fowler said of his team being able to bounce back from the loss. "We were able to go back to the hotel for a little bit and it gave us time to pause."
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The Panthers rode the strong performance of senior Andrew Riedmiller on the mound in the third-place game and also got plenty of help from him on the offensive side. Riedmiller struckout five of the first seven Knights he faced. Offensively, he was 3 for 4,with three RBIs.
"It felt really good to get this win," Riedmiller said.
"We were definitely more relaxed after the first game. Overall, we hit the ball well and played better. I think we had been so uptight in some of the games leading up to state and we were in the first game today."
A more relaxed Independent built a 3-0 lead in the second inning.
Sacred Heart (15-7) scored two runs on two hits in the fourth, but the Panthers scored a run in the fourth on a Riedmiller RBI single, then Kevin Jarvis scored on an error in the fifth.
Independent (24-2) added five runs on four hits and a couple Sacred Heart errors in the sixth to make it 10-2.
"This season has been spectacular," Riedmiller said. "We were so good in every aspect. This team is full of hard workers and we never gave up."
P. Colgan 10, Silver Lake 0
|P. Colgan||414||001||—||10 12 0|
|Silver Lake||000||000||—||0 7 4|
W — Dawson. L — Burkiek.
Independent 10, Sacred Heart 8
|Sacred Heart||000||200||6||—||8 10 6|
|Independent||120||115||x||—||10 9 1|
W —Riedmiller. L — Jones.
Colgan 3, Independent 2
|P. Colgan||012||000||0||—||3 7 1|
|Independent||200||000||0||—||2 4 2|
W — Piccini. L — Loceland. S — Cedeno.