Special to LTN
CHERRYVILLE — Due to a school banquet at East Lincoln Thursday night, the Lincoln County Cardinals were without five key players in their match-up against Cherryville Post 100. The boys from Cherryville took full advantage by handing the Cardinals a 12-4 beating at Fraley Field in Cherryville.
Lincoln County lost a heartbreaker the previous night to the hands of Cherryville after carrying a 6-1 lead into the fifth inning then allowing seven unearned runs in the eventual 9-7 loss. Mistakes were the demise of the team once again Thursday night.
“Everybody got to play tonight so that’s a good thing,” a positive Bruce Bolick, head coach for Lincoln County, said after his team’s loss. “Cherryville is a good ball club and I don’t want to make any excuses.”
Cardinals starting pitcher Jake Cochran took offensive matters into his own hands in the top of the second when he blasted a solo homer over the left field fence to give the Cardinals an early 1-0 advantage.
Post 100 answered in the bottom half of the inning with three runs of their own. Cameron High sparked the rally with a hard single that bounced over the head of the Cardinals’ shortstop. Left fielder Josh Beam scored High with a triple into right-center. Beam crossed the plate when the next batter, Ryan Craft, knocked a double back into right-center. Dylan Hastings recorded the fourth consecutive hit for Post 100 with an RBI single. Cochran finally snuffed the rally by forcing two fly-outs to end the inning down only 3-1.
Lincoln County cut the deficit in half in the fourth. Jacob Hoover led off the inning with his second base-hit of the game and moved to second on a wild pitch two batters later. David Scoggins knocked in Hoover with a chopper up the middle that made its way into center. Cherryville center fielder Thomas Bess came up and threw a strike to the plate but Hoover avoided the tag to make the score 3-2.
In the bottom of the fourth Cherryville broke the Lincoln County levies. Five runs on four hits allowed Post 100 to claim a commanding 8-2 lead. Four walks and three balks in the inning didn’t help the Cardinals either.
The Cardinals had one last gasp of hope in the sixth inning when Hoover recorded his third hit of the night and later scored on an RBI double by Cochran. Jacob Osenbaugh plated Cochran two batters later with a single into right to cut the Cherryville lead to 8-4.
If Lincoln County thought they had a shot at a miracle comeback, Post 100 put those hopes to rest in the bottom of the sixth. Thomas Bess walked to lead off the inning, stole second and reached third on a passed ball. Bess later scored on a fielder’s choice. Dalton Towery iced the game five batters later with a shot over the left field fence with two runners on base to bring the game to its 12-4 final.
Cochran absorbed the loss for Lincoln County and Heath King recorded the win for Cherryville.
“This was an opportunity to throw everyone out there,” Cherryville head coach Bobby Reynolds said. “As a matter of fact we hadn’t seen Heath King pitch all year.”
High led the attack for Cherryville scoring two runs along with his two base hits.
Hoover ended the night with two singles, a double and two runs scored while Cochran homered, doubled and drove in two runs.
Cherryville takes on Shelby Post 82 Friday night in Shelby while the Cardinals return to action Saturday to take on Charlotte at East Lincoln.