Above, Josh Glover tags out Ben Sherrill at home on a throw from Josh Day in the third inning of Thursdayâ€™s game.
Below, Post 100 starter Wayne McDonald worked 7 2/3, innings surrendering seven hits and striking out eight batters in a 7-4 victory over Huntersville. Jenny Walling / LTN Photo
CHERRYVILLEâ€”Cherryville Post 100 coach Bobby Reynolds gave his assistant coach, A.J. Henley, only one bit of advice before departing for Raleigh and state 2A championship series.
“The only thing he told me was to try to get us a win somehow,” Henley said of his last conversation with Reynolds, whose high school team, East Rutherford, goes after its third straight 2A title this weekend against Southwest Edgecombe.
Well, Henley pushed all the right buttons in his fill-in role as head coach, and Cherryville finally made enough plays to end a three-game slide, beating Huntersville 7-4 Thursday in the final game of a four-game home stand.
Righthander Wayne McDonald scattered seven hits through seven and two-third innings, and lefty Chris Christensen did his job as the closer by retiring the four batters to face him.
Offensively, Post 100 (3-4 Eastern Division of Area Four, 6-5 overall) generated two key hits with runners in scoring position, a two-run triple by Dylan Anthony in the second inning and a two-RBI double by Josh Day in the seventh.
Defensively, Cherryville continued to make errors, especially in two-out situations, but the team also made some plays for a change.
Henley`s decision to start Bessemer City High product Josh Day at third base instead of second worked out well. Day handled three chances flawlessly and threw out a runner at home on a ground ball. In his first start on Monday, Day made two throwing errors at second.
“He (Day) has played third all year long, and being over there at second was a little change for him. They threw the righthander, and I thought it would be good to put Josh at third and have his left-handed bat in there. He played a heck of a third base tonight and also got us a big two-out hit,” Henley said.
The Post 100 coach also mentioned the contribution of outfielders Daniel Schronce and Evan Wise. Schronce ran down a drive off the bat of Huntersville`s Ronnie Hill in the third inning, making the catch on the dead run at the fence in center.
In the eighth inning, Wise, moved from right field to left by Henley, came through with a sliding two-out basket catch in shallow left field with runners at first and second and Post 100 up 7-4.
Anthony, who had two miscues at shortstop to give up two unearned runs, atoned for his mistakes with his two-out, line-drive triple to the fence in right center. Anthony also scored on the play when Huntersville shortstop Matt Nossell threw the ball into the Cherryville dugout, giving Post 100 a 3-1 lead.
Huntersville (3-6, 3-6) came back with three runs in the top of the third to go up 4-3. In the fourth, Josh Glover drove in the tying run with a double and scored himself on an infield error to put Cherryville ahead again at 5-4.
The insurance runs came in the seventh on Day`s shot into the gap in right center.
McDonald struck out eight and walked three in a solid performance as the starter. Henley elected to lift the righthander from Burns in the eighth with the potential tying run at the plate. Christensen came on and got Hill on the fly ball to Wise for the third out.
In the ninth, Christensen retired the side in order for the save.
“We definitely had to have this one,” said a relieved Henley. “We were getting down toward the bottom. We want to stay away from the bottom, so every win is crucial. You have to bring your A game now.”
The win should ease Reynolds` mind as he prepares East Rutherford for the best-of-three title series starting tonight at N.C. State University.
“He told me he would call me about 10:30, but to try to get us a win,” Henley said. “Right now, I don`t want no pressure on him. He has something big going on tomorrow, and I hope him the best.”
As for Post 100, the team has tonight and Saturday off, returning to action Sunday on the road against Steele Creek. Game time is at 7 at Olympic High School in Charlotte.
Post 100 notes: Lincolnton High product Justin Keever returned to the squad after a three-game absence. Keever started in right field. … Steven Justice has the best earned run average on the pitching staff at 2.077, allowing just four runs in 17 and one-third innings. Justice also leads in strikeouts with 31. Christensen is a distant second with 19.
by Mike Powell