There`s nothing like a seven-game win streak to raise a coach`s expectations.
On June 11, after his team lost an extra-inning game at home to Kings Mountain to fall to 1-4 in the Eastern Division of Area Four, Post 100 coach Bobby Reynolds was simply looking to get to .500 in division play by the end of the regular season and earn a decent playoff draw.
Now, with a week left in the regular season, Reynolds is entertaining visions of a top three finish and home-field advantage in a first-round series.
Surging Cherryville (12-6, 7-4) extended its win streak Tuesday night with a 14-4 victory over Denver in eight innings at Brookins Field.
Post 100 got another vintage pitching performance from ace Wayne McDonald, solid hitting throughout the lineup, and a spectacular night from leftfielder Steven Hoyle, who went 3-for-5 with five RBI.
Hoyle started the evening quietly with a groundout in the first inning, but in his next three at-bats he hit a two-run homer to right field, an opposite field double down the left field line and a smash single through the pitcher`s mound to score two more runs.
How well are things going for Cherryville at the moment? Monday night, Post 100 earned a forfeit win over Huntersville simply by showing up at North Mecklenburg High School.
Due to a scheduling miscommunication, Huntersville coach B.J. Hinson did not know his team was scheduled to play Cherryville in a makeup game.
Post 100 arrived to an empty ballpark at 5:45 p.m. to warm up for a 7 p.m.game against Post 321. As game time approached and no one showed up from Huntersville, Reynolds called Hinson and umpire supervisor Bill Cline.
According to reports, Hinson informed Reynolds that he had made a mistake and would have to forfeit.
Hinson phoned Area Four commissioner Bill Murray to discuss the situation, and Murray offered to give Huntersville time to gather its players for a later start. Hinson said it was not possible to find enough players, and Murray awarded Cherryville a forfeit win.
“It was just a miscommunication,” Reynolds said Tuesday night. “It was a situation where the commissioner tried to get them a couple of hours to get someone over, but they didn`t want to do that. I hate that happened.”
However, Huntersville`s scheduling blunder worked out perfectly for Post 100 in the game against Denver. The forfeit gave McDonald an extra day`s rest, and after a somewhat shaky first inning, the righthander from Burns settled in for another solid start.
“It was vintage Wayne tonight. He gives us a good outing every time out,” Reynolds said of McDonald, who was relieved by Kyle Snyder in the seventh with an 11-4 lead.
Although the Cherryville infield committed four errors, one of which led to an unearned run, Post 100 got McDonald out of a jam in the fifth with an 8-6-3 double play to defuse a potential big inning for Post 455.
Meanwhile, Denver pitching was pounded for the second night in a row. Post 455 pitching yielded 15 hits and 14 runs one night after Area Four-Eastern Division leader Pineville beat Denver 11-1.
“I would like to say we have run into two hot teams,” Denver coach Bruce Bolick said. “We just have to keep plugging and do a lot of things right.”
After Cherryville went up 2-0 in the top of the first, Post 455 tied the game in the bottom of the first. However, Post 100 got three runs in the third inning off Post 455 starter Colby Burgin, and the rout was on.
Eight of Cherryville`s nine starters hit safely in the game. For Denver, leadoff hitter Dustin Weaver went 3-for-3 with a RBI and three runs scored. Will Fox was 2-for-3 with two RBI.
Denver (8-7, 7-7) hosts Gastonia Post 23 tonight in its final regular season home game. Cherryville plays Rock Hill tonight at 8 at Winthrop University, then goes to Gastonia on Thursday.
Ch 203 103 23–14 15 4
Den 200 011 00–4 8 3
McDonald, Snyder (7) and Glover, Henderson. Burgin, Brackett (5), Price (8) and Howard. W–McDonald (3-0). L–Burgin. HRs, Cherryville, Hoyle (4).
by Mike Powell