Riverdale baseball wins two, eliminates Independence

Brett Dingess is congratulated at home plate after hitting a home run against Independence. MAINSTREET Preps

Riverdale would not be denied from advancing in TSSAA state tournament.

The Warriors baseball team took two elimination games Wednesday — a 5-4 walk-off against Arlington, followed by a 13-2 mercy rule shortened take down of Independence.

“It is all about playing with confidence, and we are a bunch that is swinging the bats well and scoring a lot of runs,” Riverdale coach Barry Messer said.

Trailing 4-3 to Arlington in the seventh, Brantley Bamberg doubled in the tying run before Blake Merwin singled in the game winner to advance the Warriors.

“That certainly got our adrenaline pumping,” Messer said on the momentum boost heading into the second game. “It carried us to a fast start and put a lot of pressure in the other dugout.”

Riverdale used the momentum to its advantage with a six-run, seven-hit first inning against Independence.

The Warriors poured on 13 runs with 16 hits on the day, including a 4-for-4 game from Bamberg. The freshman designated hitter was 8-for-8 with four doubles and five RBIs on the day.

Independence concluded its 2019 campaign at 26-13 overall record with a District 11-AAA title along the way.

“I am extremely proud of our year because we competed and put us in (the state tournament),” Independence coach Michael McLaury said. “Our seniors accomplished a lot, and they grew from our first game this year to now and they will be missed.”

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