The Independent baseball team was bound and determined to finish the season on a winning note. They had lost a tough one-run decision to Wellsville in the Class 3A semifinals Friday afternoon, but the Panthers were firing on all cylinders in the third-place game as they defeated Lakin 6-0.
Independent had three players with multiple hits. Blaine Wood had three, including a triple and two RBIs. Luke Boline had three singles. Shase Williams had two singles, four stolen bases and scored two runs.
“As a team we were looking for a fast ball away to hit it to the right side,” Wood said. “With everyone having that approach, it just worked out in the better for us.”
Independent pitcher Caden Springer went the distance. He struck out three Broncs while walking one. After allowing the leadoff batter to reach base in the first inning, no others reached safely until the fourth inning.
The Panthers scored in the first inning as Williams singled to right field, then stole second. The catcher’s throw deflected off the shortstop’s glove amd rolled about 10 feet away from the bag. The speedy Williams took off for third and easily beat the throw. He scored on Wood’s single up the middle to give Independent the lead for good.
In the third, Wood connected with a pitch on the outer half to right field for a triple. He scored when Avery Riedmiller roped a double down the left-field line, giving the Panthers a 2-0 advantage.
After days of rain, the best weather of the tournament arrived for the third-place game. The sun shined through partly cloudy skies and the Panthers finished the year with another win and third place medals. Independent finished the season 23-3.
“Its one more opportunity to play with this group of players and coaches put together,” Independent coach Jamie Fowler said. “They did a good job. I’m proud of them.”
Wellsville beat Independent 5-4 in the seminals, then lost Riverton 8-6 in the final.
Independent 6, Lakin 0
|Lakin||000||000||0||—||0 4 1|
|Independent||102||120||x||—||6 12 0|
W - Springer. L - Yakel.
Wellsville 5, Independent 4
|Wellsville||300||001||0||—||5 5 1|
|Independent||300||001||0||—||4 6 2|
W - And. Dugan. L - Cairns.