Independence holds off Beachwood

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Tyler Teare

Independence celebrated Senior Night with a dramatic non-conference win over visiting Beachwood on Wednesday.

The Blue Devils scored two runs in the bottom of the first and added eight more in the second then had to fight off a late Bison rally to win, 10-8.

“We were cruising along 10-0 and then Beachwood came right back,” said Independence coach Mark Echstenkamper. “It was Senior Night so I started all eight seniors and they were doing really well but it was good for the seniors. Everybody got in and played.”

Kyle Stefanski’s one-out single got things going for the Blue Devils in the first. Owen Ramm and Tyler Teare then drew walks to load the bases and Andrew Teribery hit an RBI single. Teare later scored on a bases-loaded walk to make it 2-0.

Nick Mrcozynski and Stefanski both walked in the second setting up Ramm’s three-run homer. Sam Spacagna and Mroczynski doubled in the inning and Teare and Zak Billings both singled.

Nine of the 10 Blue Devils who played in the game earned at least one hit. Stefanski, Teribery and Billings all finished with two hits for Independence and Spacagna knocked in a team-high four runs.

Spacagna started and pitched two scoreless innings to pick up the win. Stefanski entered in the sixth and held the Bison scoreless to earn a save.

“That was a good game,” Echstenkamper said. “That puts us at .500 on the year and we play our last game at Harvey (on Thursday). The seniors aren’t going; it’s just going to be the underclassmen.”

Independence improved to 12-12 on the year after starting 1-6.

“This was a good senior class,” Echstenkamper said. “The kids have responded well to everything we asked them to do and they worked hard. We had that disappointing 1-0 loss in the sectional finals but they finished strong. I was happy for them.”

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The creator and publisher of OhioVarsity.com, Hare has covered high school sports in Northeast Ohio since 1997. He began as a correspondent for the Lake County News Herald, where he contributed until 2011, primarily covering high school football and wrestling. In 1999, Hare began writing for IrishIllustrated.com, a member of the Scout.com network of high school and college sports web sites. He focuses on covering Notre Dame football recruiting. OhioVarsity.com was created in 2004 and was a member of the Rivals.com network until 2012. The site's original purpose was to cover Ohio high school football and recruiting news but since has grown to cover all sports and to provide sports information services to high school athletic programs and individual teams. Hare attended Willoughby South High School through the middle of his senior year, then graduated from Berkshire High School in Burton in 1986. He played football, wrestled and was an all-Geauga county baseball player (1986). He lives in Chardon with his wife Paulette and their children.