Pairings for the Area Four
Legion playoffs will be determined tonight at a meeting of Area Four coaches and officials in Hickory.
Eight teams from the Eastern Division and Western Divisions make up the 16-team bracket.
Denver and Huntersville did not qualify in the Eastern Division, while McDowell County was ruled ineligible in the Western Division for failure to submit proper paperwork.
The Area Four playoffs open Monday with best 3-of-5 series. The higher seeded teams will have the home field advantage.
Cherryville will be the No. 6 or No. 7 seed from the Eastern Division and will meet either Hendersonville or Shelby from the Western Division in the first round.
Going into Thursday night, Shelby held second place in the west by half a game over Hendersonville.
The top three seeds in the bracket will be Pineville, Eastern Division winner, Caldwell County, Western Division winner, and Gastonia, No. 2 in the east.
Pineville, which played Cherryville for the state championship last year, looms as the favorite.
As for Cherryville, Post 100 will have to shore up a leaky defense (more than 100 errors on the season) and hit with more consistency to make another run.
Post 100 coach Bobby Reynolds was somewhat encouraged that his team made only one error in its last three regular season games. One adjustment Reynolds made that worked was to move Dylan Anthony from shortstop to center field, and insert Justin Keever at short.
Reynolds hinted that he would stay with that lineup in the opening round.
â€œWeâ€™re happy the way we have played the last three ball games defensively. Itâ€™s a situation where it is a clean slate. You might go out there and jell and start playing well,â€ Reynolds said.
â€œThe playoffs are a different story. Itâ€™s three out of five. You set your pitching up. You try to hold serve at home, and since we will be traveling, you try to still one away.â€
The Area Four champion will advance to the state tournament Aug. 2-7 in Shelby.
(See Mondayâ€™s Times-News for the complete Area Four playoff pairings).