MINT HILL—Cherryville Post 100 defeated Mint Hill by a score of 10-2 on Wednesday evening at Independence High School to take a 1-0 lead in the best-of-5 semifinal series of the American Legion Baseball Area IV playoffs.
Game 2 of the series was set for Thursday night in Cherryville, but finished too late for Friday’s edition of the Lincoln Times-News.
Post 100 took the early lead in Game 1, putting a run on the scoreboard in the top of the first inning courtesy of a Zane Brockman single, a walk to Will Heavner and a big throwing error by Mint Hill on a fielder’s choice off the bat of Cole Irby.
Cherryville made it 4-0 in the top of the third with singles from Collin Robinson, Heavner and Irby, along with a double by Joseph Webb. Brockman also had an RBI fielder’s choice in the frame.
Brockman added his second hit of the evening in the fifth inning when Cherryville added two more runs. Landon Hahn’s run-scoring single made it a 6-0 advantage for Post 100.
Mint Hill, who defeated Burke County three games to one in the quarterfinal round, finally got on the board in the bottom of the sixth when Andy Duran singled and scored on David Garfinkle’s RBI double with two outs.
But Cherryville (15-5) put the game out of reach in the top of the seventh when Hahn and Brett Mason drew walks, Reid Stroupe singled and Zach Wilson belted a 3-run triple to make it 10-1.
Mint Hill (14-4) closed out the scoring in the home half of the seventh with a solo home run from leadoff batter Jack Prosser. The Mint Hill center fielder seemed to ignite the Cherryville faithful with a huge bat flip and an apparent stare into the Post 100 dugout.
Brockman, Irby, Webb and Robinson all had two hits for Cherryville. Heavner reached base in four of his five plate appearances with a single and three walks.
Garfinkle had three hits to lead Mint Hill, while Duran added a pair of singles.
Post 100 starter Zach Wilson allowed just one run over six innings to pick up the win. The right-hander scattered seven Mint Hill hits, striking out four and walking one.
Noah Huss struck out two in an inning of relief.
Mint Hill starting pitcher Ick Cirino took the loss.
The two teams are scheduled to play Game 3 tonight at Independence High School in Mint Hill.
Cherryville 103 021 3 - 10 12 1
Mint Hill 000 001 1 - 2 7 3
Game 1: Queen City 3, Rutherford County 2
Queen City (12-4) built a 3-1 lead after three innings and held off Rutherford County (13-7) for a Game 1 victory.
Area IV Finals - July 20-25
N.C. State Tournament - July 27 - August 1 at Cherryville
(Published July 16, 2021)