By RYAN HERMAN
GRANITE FALLS –– The offense Lincoln County Post 455 generated in its best-of-five Area IV quarterfinal series sweep of Caldwell County Post 29 seemed, to those who did the swinging, like an enigma.
Regardless of the explanation it happened. And the Cardinals are moving on because of it.
Post 455 scored a total of 41 runs on 48 hits in three games, yet no one can explain why or how.
“I honestly couldn’t tell you. It just came out of nowhere,” said third baseman Danny Sullivan, who went 4-for-5 in Saturday’s series clinching 15-6 win a day after hitting a grand slam and going 3-for-3.
Cardinals manager Bruce Bolick was of the same mindset.
“I don’t know. I have no answer,” he said.
The means by which the runs came may not be able to be explained, but it doesn’t matter. All that matters is they did.
Since trailing 3-1 heading into the bottom of the seventh inning against Henderson County Post 77 in the deciding Game 5 of their series –– a series the Cardinals led 2-0 –– they have scored 45 runs on 52 hits en route to four straight wins.
Heading into its second round series against Post 29, Lincoln County had dropped two of three to Caldwell County during the regular season, including a 16-1 shellacking the last time the two teams met.
The Cardinals knew they had come a long ways since the 15-run loss on May 29, but didn’t think they had come as far as sweeping a team that had won 19 games and was the No. 2 seed from the West Division.
“I actually expected some closer games, but the way we are playing, it’ll be hard to beat us, I think,” Sullivan said.
The soon-to-be member of the Catawba Valley Community College baseball squad said Post 455 became focused more hitting line drives instead of getting under the baseball, especially himself.
The change in mindset led to a very productive quarterfinal series against a team that is known for its production.
“I’m just focused on staying consistent, being relaxed at the plate,” Sullivan said.
For Bolick, it was nothing more than maturity. And the growing process has his team in the semifinals for just the third time, joining Post 455 teams from 1999 and 2007.
“They just mature, that’s about it,” Bolick said. “There’s not much else to it.”