A player is really hot if theyâ€™re able to raise their batting average 100 points in one week.
So is the case for Matt Kuster, 7 for his last 10, who paced a 13-hit attack leading Denver past Gastonia Post 23, 12-6 Wednesday night.
More importantly the win gives Post 455 momentum heading into their regular season finale against Huntersville tonight, as they prepare for the playoffs.
Kuster, a former standout first baseman for Lincolnton, went 4-for-4 with two RBIs and two runs scored. He also walked, reaching base five times on the night.
â€œHe seems to be getting better and better. Heâ€™s really been hitting the ball well lately,â€ Post 455 head coach Bruce Bolick said.
With Denver up 6-5, Brandan Jones, not known for his power, stroked a two-run homer to right-center for his first round-tripper of the season.
Dustin Weaver extended the home teamâ€™s lead to 10-5 with a RBI-single before the seventh inning came to a close.
Seth Alexander (3-0) went five and two-thirds to earn the victory. Alexander received good run support, which offset five earned runs.
The former Mustang gave way to closer Alex Loftin, who pitched the remainder in stellar fashion.
The lanky right-hander allowed only one hit and struck out two to earn the save.
Bolick has come to expect nothing less from the player dubbed â€˜Big Al.â€™
â€œAlex did a good job. Heâ€™s done a good job in relief for us all year long.â€
Denver, already with a commanding lead, added two more in the eighth as Kyle Baker found the gap in left center for a two-RBI double.
Jones finished 3-for-5 and scored two runs. Will Fox hit his fourth homer of the summer in the second inning. It also was to right center and came close to hitting the high school.
â€œHe just seems to get better as the weather gets warmer. The more he plays; the better he hits,â€ Bolick said.
Colby Burgin, known for his all-around game, turned in a couple of dazzling plays at second base.
Matt Robinson paced Post 23 with a 3-for-5 performance with one RBI. Spencer Robinson and Kenny Colson both went 2-for-4, while Sammy Asis and Justin White went 2-for-5.
Post 455 recorded only two wins last summer. By putting one in the left column Wednesday, they improved to 9-7 securing a playoff berth.
Bolick attributes the turnaround, in large part, to one quality.
â€œI think the best thing this team does if they make a mistake or lose a game; they forget it quickly.â€
The influx of veterans has been the backbone of the team. Loftin, Jones, Burgin, Fox, Kuster and Weaver lead the team in all categories.
â€œTremendous improvement. We played hard last year and our players gained experience. Our older players have really played well,â€ Bolick said.
Gastonia 210 110 010â€”6 13 3
Denver 013 200 42xâ€”12 13 0
Post 455 Statisticsâ€”
Hits- Colby Burgin 26, Brandan Jones 22, Will Fox 19.
Avg- Will Fox .396, Colby Burgin .393, Brandan Jones .386.
HR- Will Fox 4, Shane Brackett 2, Brandan Jones 1.
RBI- Will Fox 17, Colby Burgin, Brandan Jones, Shane Brackett 12.
Runs- Colby Burgin, Dustin Weaver 19, Will Fox 15, Jones and Brackett 12.
Pitching- Seth Alexander 3-0, Mitchell Lynch 3-2.
by John Mark Brooks