SHELBY — Shelby Post 82 beat Cherryville Post 100 11-4 on Thursday in Game 4 of the semi-final round of the Area IV playoffs to force a winner-take-all Game 5 today.
The series moves back to Cherryville today and the winner will face either the Gaston Braves or Caldwell County in the Area IV championship round. The series between those two teams also has its fifth game today.
Cherryville committed only two errors during the game, making a noticeable defensive improvement over its 10-error, 7-6 extra-innings loss on Tuesday and a four-error, 10-4 win on Wednesday.
Shelby had an 8-0 lead before Cherryville scored its first run in the top of the sixth when Dustin Wilson, as a pinch runner for Tyler Shumaker, crossed home plate on a Shelby throwing error.
The Shelby pitching staff held Post 100 to only two hits through the first 8.5 innings of the game. Cherryville rallied in the bottom of the ninth, with back-to-back singles to lead off the inning by Blake Mosteller and Dalton Towery. Mosteller was caught stealing third base and Luke Kiser struck out, but Derrick Braun was hit by a pitch to load the bases after a single by Thomas Bess.
Dustin Wilson hit a two-out, two-RBI single to left field to cut Shelby’s lead to 11-4 but the Cherryville rally ended there when Heath King hit a ground ball to second base to end the game.
Even Loaces hit a two-out solo home run in the bottom of the first off of Cherryville right-hander Brandon Alexander to give Shelby a 1-0 lead. Three innings and five runs later, Brock Melton connected with a pitch from King for a two-run home run to right field and an 8-0 Shelby lead.
Short stop Ryan Craft hit a two-out single in the top of the second for Cherryville’s first hit, followed by a single to left field on a hit-and-run by Wilson in the top of the eighth inning for Cherryville’s second hit.
Right fielder Josh Beam was hit by a pitch to lead off the eighth, moved to third base on the hit-and-run, and crossed home on an infield ground ball by King.
Shelby answered with two runs in the bottom of the eighth for an 11-2 lead, nearly ending the game by the 10-run mercy rule. C.J. Brooks hit a two-RBI single off of Beam with the bases loaded and no outs and Wilson scored on a wild pitch for an 11-2 lead but Nick Triplett flew out to right field and Brooks was caught stealing third to send the game to the ninth inning.