MANHATTAN – In a classic pitchers duel, Independent’s Avery Riedmiller and Maur Hill’s Chase Behler found ways to stymie their opponents most of the night.
Independent, though, scored a run in the fifth inning and two more in the sixth to win 3-0 in a Class 3A baseball quarterfinal on Thursday.
Independent has had good teams in the past, but maybe not as good as this year’s. The key is the pitching staff.
“Since the beginning of the season, we hold our hat on pitching and defense,” Independent coach Jamie Fowler said.
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Riedmiller’s control was masterful, striking out seven and walking none. Behler struck out seven Panthers while taking the loss.
In the fifth inning, Independent had runners at first and third. Jaden Gifford broke for second base and got into a rundown. Chad Eikleberry raced home with the first run. Tanner Cairns provided some insurance runs in the sixth with a two-run triple off the center-field fence. That sealed the victory for Independent, as Riedmiller completed the game in the seventh inning.
“It took him a few at-bats to make an adjustment but he squared one nicely there to give us a big cushion,” Fowler said. “There’s a big difference between going in up 1-0 than 3-0.”
Independent faces Wellsville on Friday afternoon in a semifinal game.
Lakin 5, Sedgwick 1 – Sedgwick’s offense couldn’t get anything going in its first state tournament appearance. Lakin pitcher Ryder Yakel struck out eight Cardinals and allowed one run, a solo homer by Brylie Ware.
“We tried grinding out the at-bats, and unfortunately baseball is like that, you don’t always get the breaks you hope for,” Sedgwick coach Doug Mabry said.
Independent 3, Maur Hill 0
|Maur Hill||000||000||0||–||0 4 2|
|Independent||000||012||x||–||3 5 3|
W — Riedmiller. L – Behler.
Lakin 5, Sedgwick 1
|Lakin||001||130||0||–||5 9 0|
|Sedgwick||000||100||0||–||1 5 3|
W — Yakel. L – Freund. HR – Sedgwick, Ware.