For now, Cherryville Post 100 has a 1-0 lead in the first-round best-of-5 series over Cleveland County after Tuesday night’s 12-0 five-inning victory at Fraley Field in Cherryville.
But that’s for now.
The game was played under protest after it was determined in the second inning that the Post 100 catcher was wearing an earpiece to hear pitches called from the dugout. A ruling on whether earpieces are allowed under American Legion Baseball rules will be determined sometime today.
As for the game itself, Cherryville was dominant.
Starting pitcher Seth Willis pitched the complete-game, five-inning shutout, allowing just three hits. The West Lincoln product struck out eight Post 155/82 batters while walking just one on 77 total pitches.
Post 100 got on the board early, scoring twice in the bottom of the first inning on a Wes Reynolds base hit, a double from Robbie Cowie and a 2-run single off the bat of Colson Miller.
Cherryville (18-9) would take control in the home half of the third inning when Levi Kiser led off with a base hit, Reynolds was hit by a pitch and Cowie walked to load the bases with no outs. Miller promptly followed with his second 2-run single of the evening to make it 4-0, and Samuel Duncan and Brent Walls provided RBI singles to extend the margin to 6-0.
Then in the fourth, Post 100 put the game out of reach with a big six-run inning. Cowie, Miller (RBI) and Duncan all singled after a leadoff walk to Kiser. After another base on balls, this one to Dylan Burkey, Walls cleared the bases with a 3-run triple, and scored on a throwing error to extend the lead to an even dozen.
Miller was the offensive hero of the night for Cherryville, going 3 for 3 at the plate and driving in five runs. Walls added 2 hits in three trips to the plate, knocking in four Post 100 runs. Cowie and Duncan also had a pair of base hits. Cherryville finished the game with a total of 11 hits
Luke Scism, the Cleveland County leadoff hitter, had 2 of Post 155/82’s three hits. The only other Cleveland County player to hit safely was John Melton, who doubled with one out in the third.
Post 155/82 used three different pitchers in four innings, with starter Charlie Melton taking the loss.
If the win holds up for Cherryville, it will be the 800th win for head coach Bobby Reynolds. If the protest is upheld, he’ll try for it again tonight.
At the time of the protest, Cherryville Post 100 held a 2-0 lead over Cleveland County (3-18).
Game 2 is tentatively scheduled to be played at Kings Mountain High School tonight at 7 p.m.
Cleveland Co. 000 00 - 0 3 1
Cherryville 204 6x - 12 11 2
WP: Seth Willis
LP: John Melton