Dylan Anthony sends dirt flying at second base, while Denver second baseman Jeffrey Hurt tries to maintain his footing in Thursday nightâ€™s contest. Post 100 was aided by a two-run homer by Josh Glover in the series-tying win. Jenny Walling / LTN Photo
CHERRYVILLEâ€”Denver got Cherryvilleâ€™s attention Tuesday night when Post 455 rallied in the ninth inning to beat the defending state champions.
So in the rematch Thursday night at Fraley Field, Post 100 coach Bobby Reynolds came with his best.
Right-hander Wayne McDonald, who has the best won-loss percentage on the staff, drew the starting pitching assignment.
Right-hander Wayne McDonald hurls a pitch in Post 100â€™s 8-3 win over Denver. McDonald earned the win. Jenny Walling / LTN Photo
And after Cherryville grabbed the lead with a productive fourth inning, Reynolds did not take any chances.
He brought in his ace, Steven â€œRedâ€ Justice, to close out the game.
Justice shut out Post 455 over the last four innings and Cherryville evened the season series with a 8-3 victory before one of the largest crowds of the season at Fraley Field.
The loss ended the season for Denver, which finished 2-16 and did not qualify for the Area Four American Legion playoffs.
It was second game of the day for Post 455, which a few hours earlier made up a rained out game against Steele Creek. Steele Creek won that one 9-2 at Brookins Field in Lincolnton.
Cherryville, meanwhile, finishes 8-10 in the Eastern Division of Area Four (13-11 overall) and advances to the 16-team area playoff starting Monday.
The game turned in Cherryvilleâ€™s favor in the fourth inning, when Post 100 struck for five runs to break a 2-2 tie.
It was in that inning that Post 100 chased Denver starting pitcher Colby Burgin, who got into a jam by walking two batters and hitting another. An infield error also proved costly for Post 455.
Cherryville scored five runs with the aid of only two hits, but they were huge. Josh Day lined a double into the right-field corner to score a run, and Justin Keever doubled to the fence in left field to drive in two more.
Keeverâ€™s hit prompted Post 455 coach Bruce Bolick to make a pitching change. Michael Smith walked the first batter he faced, then struck out Brock Alexander to finally end the inning with Post 100 up 7-2.
It appeared Denver might have Cherryvilleâ€™s number in the early going. The visitors jumped ahead 2-0 in the top of the first inning on Shane Brackettâ€™s line drive two-RBI double over the head of Cherryville left fielder Evan Wise.
However, the lead proved to be short-lived. In the bottom of the first, Josh Glover hit a towering two-run homer over the left field fence to tie the contest.
Both teams had 10 hits for the game, but Post 100 had more base runners thanks to the seven walks issued by Denver pitching.
Offensive leaders for Post 100 were Glover, 2-for-3 with two RBI, Keever, 2-for-5 with two RBI, and Paul Finger, 2-for-3 with a run batted in.
Brandon Scott and Alex Loftin had two hits each for Post 455.
Cherryville 4, Raleigh 2
In the first game of a twinbill at Fraley Field, Post 100 bunched all of its scoring into one inning, the third, and held on for the win over the Mudcats, a team made up mostly of high school players from Raleigh Broughton.
Five of Cherryvilleâ€™s seven hits were doubles, and Brock Alexander led the way with a pair of extra-base hits and a RBI.
Kyle Snyder, a lefthander from Lincolnton, went six innings to get the win. Snyder allowed three hits, struck out five and walked three.
Cherryville 12, Raleigh 5
Josh Day, Steven Hoyle and Evan Wise led a 13-hit attack as Cherryville swept the visitors in the nightcap.
Day went 4-for-5 and scored three times, while Hoyle had a 3-for-5 outing with two RBI and Wise collected three hits in four at-bats and knocked in four runs.
West Lincoln product J.T. Thomas pitched the first five innings for Post 100 and got the win.
by Amy Wadsworth