The Independence Bears couldn’t find the gaps during the first game of their American Legion Zone 2 doubleheader with the Windsor Post 82 Titans – or at least not often enough, manager Jeramey Mabie said.
“It was one of those games where we hit the ball pretty well,” Mabie said. “We just hit it right at everybody tonight.”
The Bears tapped out five hits during their 5-2 loss at the Independence Athletic Complex. They had only one hit through the first 3 2/3 innings – a two-out, first-inning single by catcher Jordan Mabie, the manager’s son.
The elder Mabie credited Windsor pitcher Zach Berube with keeping the Bears’ bats in check.
“He mixed it up on us, kept us off balance and did his job against us,” he said of Berube, who struck out five as part of his five-hit complete game victory.
But recent William Chrisman graduate Josh Jarvis, who collected one of Independence’s hits, felt that the Bears could have had better approaches at the plate against Berube.
“I just don’t think we were swinging effectively or taking advantage of the pitches that he did throw in the dirt,” Jarvis said.
The Titans took advantage of enough early pitches from Bears starter Dalton Badzene to score all of their runs during the first three innings. They tacked up two runs in the first, another run in the second and two more in the third.
Windsor’s early offense was in keeping with how the Titans have played since the Wood Bat Invitational Blue Springs Post 499 Fike hosted last week, according to Titans manager Mike Daugherty.
“It seems like we’ve started hitting the ball a little on the lines, getting it out of the air, more ground balls, line drives,” Daugherty said. “We’re not a power-hitting team, so we’ve got to get our base hits and run the bases aggressively. And we were successful today.”
Jarvis ended Berube’s shutout bid by dropping a two-out single into right field to score Matt Miller from second base in the top of the fourth.
“I was just looking for something to hit – and I got caught a little off guard,” Jarvis said. “So I just tried to make easy contact.”
Jarvis scored on a wild pitch in the seventh for the final run in a ballgame that he and the elder Mabie agreed would help prepare the Bears for their Zone 2 Tournament play-in game against Hillcrest Merchant’s Post 69 at 1 p.m. Saturday at Hidden Valley Park. Jarvis said that the loss gave the Bears some focal points for Saturday.
“I feel like we need to work on taking more pitches, staying in the zone and working defensively at talking,” he said.
The Bears earned some redemption in the nightcap, winning 16-2 in five innings. Cameron Watters earned the win with a five-inning complete game, allowing six hits and striking out four.