Independence Post 21 catcher Johnny Fenton had an atypical at-bat Thursday against the Independence Bears.
That at-bat helped drive Post 21 to a 7-2 win in the first game of an American Legion Zone 2 doubleheader at the Independence Athletic Complex.
With two outs in the bottom of the third inning, the soon-to-be Van Horn senior swatted a three-run triple to right field. The hit punctuated a six-run inning.
“I let it fly today,” Fenton said. “Wasn’t really thinking anything. Wasn’t trying to take it any certain way. I was trying to get the bat on the ball and caught a sweet spot, I guess.”
Usually, Fenton hits for singles, agreed the catcher and his manager, Tom Bush.
“He (hadn’t) shown any power at all, for me, this season until then,” Bush said. “So that was just a real surprise. I’m looking for a line drive base-hit single or something, a ground ball in the hole or something, a base hit. But, man, he muscled up.”
Bush said he could tell the hit was for extra bases upon contact.
“It was well over his (fielder’s) head. … That was just huge,” the manager said.
Fenton’s atypical extra-base hit meant more running than he’s used to doing, he admitted.
“The running was quite an exercise,” Fenton said.
Before Fenton’s triple, the Bears tacked up a run in the second. Juan Flores was hit by a pitch to start Post 21’s six-run third. Flores eventually scored when Myles Odom reached base on an error. Kyle Schnakenberg reached base on a bunt single and eventually scored on an out. Odom eventually scored on Tanner Blau’s single. Mason Steele, Blau and Kevin Losch scored on the triple.
“Johnny’s triple was the big blow,” Bush said.
For the Bears, the third marked the return of the one rough inning that has hurt the team this season, according to manager Jeramey Mabie.
“The last couple games, we played well, were able to eliminate it,” Mabie said. “But we got back today where we just couldn’t get rid of that bad inning.”
Brandon Borchert’s two-out double scored Schnakenberg in the fourth for Post 21’s final run.
Bears catcher Jordan Mabie scored on an out in the seventh for the Bears’ final run.
Post 21 was leading the second game 6-2 when it was stopped by a severe thunderstorm.