BELMONT–The Gaston Braves rallied from a five-run deficit in the middle innings to beat Cherryville Post 100 10-8 Sunday night at South Point High School stadium.
Trailing 7-2 after three innings, the Braves chipped away at the deficit and finally took the lead for good with three runs in the seventh inning.
Braves right fielder David Bumgardner singled in the tying run and scored the winning run on a two-out infield error, giving Post 266-144 a 9-8 lead.
Gaston added an insurance run in the bottom of the eighth, but it was not needed thanks to Michael Raymond`s relief pitching.
Raymond went to the mound in the top of the eighth with no outs and runners at first and second. He got the Braves out of trouble by striking out Evan Wise, forcing Dylan Anthony to hit into a force play at third and then fanning Paul Finger for the third out.
Cherryville (4-6, 7-7) got a runner on base in the ninth on a throwing error with two outs, but Raymond struck out Brock Alexander on a high fastball to end the game.
In two complete innings of relief, Raymond struck out four batters and did not allow a hit.
Cherryville starting pitcher Wayne McDonald left the game with an 8-6 lead, but Chris Cook could not protect it when he relieved in the seventh. He hit a batter, uncorked a wild pitch and gave up RBI singles by Brody Heffner and Bumgardner.
Paul Finger led Post 100`s 15-hit attack with four hits in five at-bats and a RBI. Cook was 3-for-4 with two RBI, Justin Keever 3-for-5 with two runs scored, and Brian Ebert 2-for-5 with a RBI.
In addition to his clutch relief pitching, the Braves` Raymond homered in the fifth and went 2-for-4 for the game.
The win gave the Braves a split of the series between the Area Four-Eastern Division rivals.
Cherryville made five more errors, increasing the season total to 61 in 14 games.
Post 100 has little time to dwell on the disappointing loss. The team faces Newell in a doubleheader today at home, starting time 6 p.m. The twinbill will consist of two seven-inning games.
Newell, finally at full strength after adding players from 4A state finalist Independence, was 5-6 in division play through Saturday night.by Amy Wadsworth