CHERRYVILLE—Post 100 once again used the same recipe that has kept them unbeaten so far in the 2019 Area IV playoffs. Good pitching and timely hitting have been their keys to winning, and Tuesday night’s 6-2 series-clinching win over Gastonia Post 23 was no different.
Cherryville got a strong outing from starting pitcher Dalton Pence, who pitched six shutout innings in Post 100’s sixth-straight playoff win to begin their Area IV playoff run. The Cherryville High School product gave up just three Gastonia hits, while striking out 10 and walking just two.
And Pence had to pitch most of the night with the pressure of a tied or one-run game.
After both teams went scoreless through the first three innings, Cherryville scratched first with a single run in the bottom of the fourth. Robbie Cowie singled with one out, stole second base and later scored on Samuel Duncan’s RBI single to make it 1-0.
Post 100 didn’t really gain any breathing room until the sixth inning, which was Pence’s final inning of work.
Five straight singles from Cowie, Coleson Miller, Duncan, Brent Walls and Chris Moxley produced three Cherryville runs and an RBI groundout off the bat of Levi Kiser and a wild pitch produced two more to give Post 100 a 6-0 advantage heading to the seventh.
Gastonia would finally get on the board in the top of the inning on a two-run homer off the bat of Xavier Swann to trim the lead to four before Cowie, on in relief, recorded a strikeout to end the game and the series.
Duncan went 3 for 3 at the plate to lead Cherryville, also driving in a pair of runs. Cowie added a pair of base hits for Post 100, who outhit Gastonia 8 to 4.
With the win, Post 100 improved to 23-9 on the season and completes their second straight 3-game sweep. Cherryville will take on the winner of the Union County-Pineville series in the semifinal round that gets underway later this week. Union County leads Pineville 2 games to 1 after Tuesday’s 15-0 win at Wingate.
Gastonia Post 23 finishes with a record of 15-12.