By Blake Long/Special to the Journal
INDEPENDENCE – Kossuth finds itself in a familiar position after Game 1 of the MHSAA Class 3A baseball semifinals.
The Aggies lost 2-0 at Independence on Thursday night and must now win two-straight if they wish to make a repeat trip to play for a state championship.
Game 2 starts at 7 tonight at Kossuth, and the Aggies are in another tough spot.
“We’ve fought through adversity all year,” said Kossuth coach Daniel Threadgill. “We’ve dealt with rainouts and having to play three division games in one week and we’ve dealt with death as far as our basketball coach’s wife.
“We’re young, but they’ve mentally showed the capability of fighting back.”
Kossuth (17-13) outhit the Wildcats 6-4 in Game 1, but never strung together multiple hits off pitcher Leemarcus Boyd.
Boyd (5-1) used his changeup and slider to keep the Aggies off balance. He struck out six and walked none.
“I was just keeping my head straight,” said Boyd. “The crowd tried to get me all rattled, but I kept my head on and me and my catcher went at it.”
Small ball helped Independence (20-9) score both its runs. James Chincarini reached on an error in the third inning, advanced to third base on a sacrifice bunt and scored on a bloop single by Boyd for a 1-0 lead.
Caleb Kile led off the following frame with a walk and took second on another bunt. He then crossed home plate on Nathan Simpson’s RBI hit to left field.
“Our motto is put the ball between the white lines, throw strikes and make routine plays,” Wildcats coach Steve Chambliss said. “Once again, we did those three things and came out on top.”
Josh Whitaker (7-4) pitched a complete game for the Aggies and had five strikeouts. Catcher Tyler Mercer picked off three runners and caught another stealing to aid Whitaker’s cause.