After having just four hits in each of the first three games of the Area IV American Legion baseball semifinals series, the bats of Cherryville Post 100 came to life Sunday night. At South Point High School, Post 100 stroked 12 hits and scored 11 runs for an 11-8 win over the Post 144-266 Gaston Braves to even the best of seven series at two games each.
The first three games had all been pitchers duels. While Cherryville lost game one 4-0 and the second game 3-1, they won the third game 2-1; and in all three games, the pitching was excellent, but the bats were silent.
Cherryville got things started in the first inning Sunday when Cole Irby's double drove in the first two runs. The Braves came back to tie the game in the bottom of the first 2-all. In the second inning, Cherryville went three up and three down; the Braves loaded the bases on starting pitcher Noah Huss, but didn't score. In the third inning, took the lead, but in the bottom of the fourth, two wild pitches by two Cherryville pitchers evened the score. Then came the sixth inning and Cherryville exploded for five more runs thanks in part to two hit batters by the Braves pitcher. Irby had another run-scoring double in the sixth for an 11-5 advantage. On the night, he reached base on all four of his plate appearances, batted two for two, had four rbi's and scored two runs.
In the seventh inning, Landon Hahn took over in relief, got the first out on a fly ball to left field, struck out a batter after a single, and four times was only one strike away from ending the game. On three of those occasions, the Braves got a hit and scored three runs to cut the lead to 11-8. With the bases loaded, Hahn struck out Daniel McClellan, the Braves cleanup hitter, to secure the victory.
The series now moves back to Fraley Field in Cherryville for the fifth game Monday night. The sixth will be at South Point on Tuesday and the seventh (if needed) at Fraley Field on Wednesday.
Uncharacteristically, the Cherryville team committed four errors Sunday night. The Braves, who have been error prone in this series, committed two.
The teams are playing for a spot in the state championship series at Campbell University July 26-30. Both of the semifinals series winners will play there.
The Southeast Regional tournament will be at Asheboro August 3-7.
The American Legion World Series will be at Shelby beginning August 11th.