CHERRYVILLE–If ever there was a good time for Kyle Snyder to pitch his first complete game for Post 100, it was Sunday night.
Cherryville`s normally deep pitching staff had taken a hit going into game three of the best-of-five Area Four quarterfinal series against Gastonia.
Closer Chris Cook woke up Sunday morning with a sore arm, and middle-inning reliever Daniel Styers jammed his hand in a door and had to have an x-ray. Styers reported to the ballpark with a swollen hand.
That left Snyder, Steven Justice and Ryan Rhodes as the only fresh arms, and Rhodes had pitched several innings in relief on Saturday night.
So it was up to the lefthander from Lincolnton High School, and he came through in a big way as Cherryville beat Gastonia 5-2 to complete a three-game series sweep.
Snyder was in control throughout in his first route-going performance, scattering five hits while striking out four and walking three. He threw 121 pitches and did not seem to lose any steam until the eighth inning, when he walked two batters in a row.
“We were down in our staff and we needed some innings of Snyder, and he really threw well,” Post 100 coach Bobby Reynolds said. “We were looking for five or six from him, but he just moved right along. He avoided trouble at the beginning of innings and got the leadoff guys out.”
Post 100 (23-9) played outstanding defense behind Snyder. The infield had a stellar game, with shortstop Dylan Anthony and third baseman Josh Day handling several difficult chances. In the outfield, Daniel Scronce ran down a drive at the center field fence to take away an extra-base hit.
Cherryville had to use all of its resources to put down a Gastonia team that was competitive in every game of the series.
“Gastonia gave us a good game every time,” said Reynolds. “Every game was in limbo until the final out. We never could get that one hit to blow the thing open. The credit goes to their pitching staff.”
Cherryville got a run in the first inning on Cook`s opposite field double and led throughout the game. Josh Glover doubled in a run in the second to make the score 2-0, and Steven Hoyle hit a leadoff home run in the third.
Gastonia had baserunners in every inning but the third, but could not break through against Snyder, who kept dangerous leadoff hitter Sammy Asis off the bases and controlled the top of the Gastonia batting order. Asis, Spencer Robinson, Wes McCall and Michael Maples went a collective 2-for-14 against the lefthander.
“Any time Bobby Dale needs me, I am ready go to,” said Snyder. “I was real focused tonight and everything went well. My teammates played good defense behind me.”
Although Post 100 could not generate a big inning against Post 23 pitcher Justin White, there were some individual standouts. Hoyle had three singles in addition to his fifth homer of the year and finished the night 4-for-5. Cook and Glover each went 2-for-5.
Cherryville advances to the best-of-five Area Four semifinals, scheduled to open on Thursday at the higher seed.
As Sunday`s game ended in Cherryville, Caldwell was on the verge of wrapping up a three-game sweep of Taylorsville in the quarterfinals. Up 2-0 in the series, Caldwell was ahead 9-1 late in the game at Granite Falls.
Cherryville and Caldwell are two of the most heated rivals in the state, and the series should draw good crowds. Caldwell County, the defending Area Four champion, was 26-4 going into Sunday`s action.
Post 100 has won five straight playoff series over Caldwell County. The last time Post 29 beat Cherryville in the playoffs was in 1994 when Lincolnton native Johnny Colvard was the coach.
“Caldwell County has one of the best clubs they have fielded in the last six or eight years,” said Reynolds. “We hope we can make a series out of it.”
Ga 000 101 000â€”2 5 2
Ch 111 010 10xâ€”5 11 1
White, S.Robinson (7) and M. Robinson. Snyder and Glover. W–Snyder. L–White. HRs- Cherryville, Hoyle (5).
Cherryville 8, Gastonia 4
At Sims Legion Park in Gastonia, Paul Finger, Chris Cook, Daniel Scronce and Kyle Martin had three hits each and a combined six RBI to lead a 16-hit Cherryville attack.
Trailing 3-2, Post 100 scored four runs in the seventh inning to forge ahead 6-3.Cherryville tied the game on Cook`s groundout and went ahead for the first time on a single by Scronce.
With one out and runners at second and third, Martin hit a grounder to first base, but first baseman Wes McCall passed up the easy putout for a play at the plate.
However, McCall`s throw got past catcher Justin White for an error, and two runs scored to give Cherryville a 6-3 lead.
Post 100 tacked on two more runs in the top of the ninth on RBI singles by Scronce and Martin.
Ryan Rhodes was the winning pitcher in relief of starter Steven Justice, who was yanked in the third inning with the game tied 2-2 and the first two batters aboard on singles.
Gastonia scored a run in the third on a groundout, but Rhodes pitched shutout ball through the fourth, fifth and sixth innings. Cook relieved Rhodes in the seventh and finished up.
The Cherryville infield turned two double plays, and third baseman Josh Day handled three tough chances on ground balls without error.
Sammy Asis, Spencer Robinson and Michael Maples had three hits each to lead a 13-hit Gastonia attack.
Cherryville 4, Gastonia 3
In the series opener at Fraley Field, Wayne McDonald won a battle between ace pitchers, and Dylan Anthony stole home with what proved to be the winning run.
The game was tied 3-3 with two outs in the seventh when Anthony broke for home on an 0-2 count on Cliff Piercy. The pitch from Michael Maples was low and outside, and Anthony scored with ease on an play that completely caught Post 23 by surprise.
McDonald struck out 11 and scattered eight hits in hiking his record to 6-0. Maples (2-4) pitched well in a complete game loss for Gastonia, striking out nine and allowing six hits.
Anthony and Cook had two hits each for Post 100, and Wes McCall went 2-for-4 for Gastonia.
Wayne McDonald struck out 11 batters in Fridayâ€™s 4-3 win over Gastonia. He is now 6-0 on the summer. Chris Dean / LTN Photo
by Mike Powell