COAL CITY —
Fayetteville was in the wrong place at the wrong time.
A day after a meltdown loss against Greenbrier East, Independence unloaded on the Pirates. The Patriots scored four runs in every inning except the fourth — when they scored five — and Andrue Hughart had a big day in a 17-0, five-inning victory Tuesday at Joseph H. Goddard Field.
Hughart, a sophomore right-hander, tossed a two-hitter and got the win. He walked two and struck out two over four innings.
“I was just trying to paint the strike zone,” Hughart said. “I had full trust in my defense that they would make plays for me. That’s what I was doing. I was just throwing (pitches) and letting them field them.”
“This was his third start, and he has pitched well all three times,” first-year Independence coach Scott Cuthbert said. “We’re trying to find a little more offense, but our pitching has done well all year.”
Several hitters delivered for Independence (6-2), which gave up seven runs in the ninth inning of an 11-4 loss to Greenbrier East on Monday. Hughart was just as big at the plate as on the mound, going 3-for-4 with a pair of doubles and four runs batted in.
He even legged out an infield single in the fourth.
“I was trying to get out of the batter’s box as quick as I could,” the 6-foot-3, 200-pounder said. “I kind of got a little shadow on the ball and hit the ball pretty solid. I was just trying to beat it out and help out my batting average.”
Brad Huffman also drove in four runs for the Patriots, while Drew D’Angelo had three RBIs and Wyatt Adkins and Brian Sexton had two apiece.
Cuthbert was happy to see his team get production from the bottom of the order. Tanner Ray had two hits, drove in a run and scored twice. Daniel Kostenko and Andrew Cox also scored two runs.
“We had been struggling at the bottom of the order,” Cuthbert said. “But they did better tonight.”
Jeremy McGinnis, who had a 2-for-4 night, struck out the side in the fifth to end it early.
Fayetteville coach Dan Poland is searching for answers he hopes to find before sectional play begins next month.
“We’re just not a very good baseball team right now,” he said. “We have some time to fix it, hopefully, with playing games every day. Guys are getting on-the-job training. I wish I could give you a good answer but I can’t right now. There is not one good thing we did on the baseball field today, and it started from the JV game all the way to varsity.
“It fall on me right now. That’s not a cliché; it falls on me. I have to find a way to put a lineup out there to be competitive and win the game. It’s my fault right now. Hopefully I’ve got three or four weeks to fix it. Hopefully we can get this thing turned around and get these guys playing some good baseball.”
Independence will visit Bluefield at 4:30 p.m. today, while Fayetteville (7-7) goes to Summers County at 5 p.m.
— E-mail: gfauber@
Independence 17, Fayetteville 0,
F: 000 00 — 0 2 4
I: 444 5x — 17 11 0
F: Jake Holland, Joe Reinhart (3), Trey Phares (4) and Jake Cogar, Aaron Krise (3), I: Andrue Hughart, Jeremy McGinnis (5) and McGinnis, Ryan Brandstetter (5). WP — Hughart. LP — Holland. Hitting — F: Holland 1-1, Phares 1-1, Jake Alton 1-2, I: Drew D’Angelo 2-2 (2b, 3b, 3 rbi), Brad Huffman 1-4 (4 rbi), Wyatt Adkins 1-3 (3b, 2 rbi), McGinnis 2-4 (rbi), Brian Sexton (2 rbi), Hughart 3-4 (2 2b, 4 rbi), Tanner Ray 2-2 (2b, rbi), Colton Ward (rbi).
Records: F: 7-7; I: 6-2.