By James Cook:
The James Monroe Mavericks had a tall task ahead of them on Friday in Beckley at Linda K. Epling Stadium. The Mavericks were forced to have to defeat the Independence Patriots twice in one day with the winner advancing to the 2017 State High School Baseball Tournament.
The Patriots handily defeated James Monroe 12-5 on Wednesday going up 1-0 in the best of three series. The Mavericks with their backs against the wall, so to speak, would play maybe their best baseball all year long. James Monroe rallied with two runs late to top the Patriots 4-3 in Friday’s first game. Tripp Shiflet was 2 for 4 in the win, while also adding an important RBI to knot the series at one game apiece.
The third game in the series was just as good as the day’s first game as the Mavericks held on 7-6 despite a late Independence rally. Monroe Mohler was 2 for 2 and had an RBI of his own. The Mavericks scored two runs in the first, fourth, and sixth innings to help in the win.
James Monroe is the 2017 Class AA-Region 3-Section 2 champions and now advance to Charleston next weekend for the state tournament for the first time in school history.
The Mavericks are (17-10) overall in 2017 thus far.