VA/DC Scout Blog: Independence at Riverside

John Nolan
NOVA Scouting Director

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Monday saw a big Potomac District showdown between 2022 State Tournament participants as Independence traveled up to Riverside. Indy tabbed sophomore lefty Carter Schuster for the start and Riverside went with senior righty Conor Smith (Villanova). Smith worked a scoreless top of the first and the Rams jumped out to a quick 1-0 lead as senior shortstop Cavan McMeans (Coll of Charleston) lined a home run to left in the bottom half of the first.

Independence bounced back quickly in the top of the second, scoring four runs, with the big blow coming off the bat of senior Jack McDonald (East Carolina), who delivered a 2-out, 2-RBI single to make the score 4-1. Independence would add two more runs in the top of the third, taking a 6-1 lead. 

That's where the score stayed until the seventh inning. Schuster was outstanding after that first inning home run, and Riverside got great work in the middle innings from senior Ryan DeMartin (Georgetown), who kept Independence from adding to the lead. In the bottom of the seventh, Schuster exited at his pitch count, and Riverside was able to load the bases and draw a walk and hit by pitch with the bases loaded to cut the deficit to 6-3 with the tying run on base and the winning run at the plate. The Tigers brought McDonald in and in one pitch he got a groundout to end the game and secure the season sweep for Independence with a final score of 6-3. 







Colton Hicks SS / RHP / Independence, VA / 2026

Hicks is 6-1 with a lankier athletic frame. Is playing third this year for Indy and he seems fine there. Decent first step, good exchange, arm is loose and average strength now with potential to be above average over time, could be a long term position for him depending on how he fills out. At the plate, its a balanced athletic slightly open setup, quiet load and stride, hips fire completely with some explosion and the hands stay inside and short to contact, slightly uphill swing with some strength at contact, line drive hitter now that will show some doubles power currently with a chance to grow into more as he fills out.




Jackson McDonald RHP / Independence, VA / 2023



David Mendez MIF / 2B / Independence, VA / 2023




Chase Obstgarten SS / RHP / Independence, VA / 2025



Carter Schuster LHP / 1B / Independence, VA / 2025

Schuster has an athletic 6-3 frame with some strength in the lower half. Drop and drive crossfire delivery, shoulders are closed, hides the ball and creates some deception. Short loose arm action, throws from low three-quarters slot, hellish angle for lefties and still creates a tough look for righthanders. Fastball was 81-83, topping at 84, he held that velocity into the seventh inning, pitch has some late two-plane movement, getting armside run with a bit of depth. Slider had good armspeed and was 74-75, pitch is mostly 10/4 but also gets some late depth, showed ability to land it for strikes and bury it to finish hitters. Got squeezed on the edges a bit otherwise he probably would have gone the distance. Strikethrower now whose next step is to show more true command than control. 











Ryan DeMartin RHP / OF / Riverside , VA / 2023



Trey Graydon RHP / 1B / Riverside, VA / 2025



Kyle Johnson OF / LHP / Riverside, VA / 2023