Matthews Gets Walk Off Victory Over Mint Hill 13-12

Mint Hill Post 555 Jackson Warfield slides home safely as Sam Dansky looks on. (Photos by Paul Imirie)
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MINT HILL, NC – Last night at Butler High School baseball field Matthews Post 235 defeated Mint Hill American Legion Post 555 in a wild affair on the baseball diamond. It was one of those games that makes you shake your head in despair, and on the other hand applaud an outstanding play or at-bat on the field. Also, both teams are evenly matched, but only one team can come out with a win.

Luke Chantry attempts to slide around tag of Matthews Shortstop Brooks.

Both ball clubs played their hearts out, and it appears a friendly local rivalry has developed since all the players are from local area high schools and many seem to know each other. After a patriotic opening ceremony and this occasion being the first time the two teams have met at Butler field the setting was ripe for fireworks.

Mint Hill scored first taking a 1-0 lead, Luke Chantry singled, but was caught stealing on a close call at second base as it appeared the tag was made on his back foot, but he slid around the bag with his hand on the base. The next batter Collin McDougall drilled a single up the gut, and with two outs Carson Dunlap slammed a triple into the left center field gap scoring the first run of the ballgame.

In the third inning DH Jackson Warfield knocked a base hit to leadoff the inning, then David Mosrie squared up a fastball slamming it 380 plus feet over the 359 foot sign in deep left center for a 2 run homer to give the visitors an early 3-0 advantage.

However, things can turn quickly, Mint Hill starter Collin McDougall sailed through the first two frames, but the Matthews bats woke up and delivered when they had too. Aided with 2 fielding errors and the game was suddenly tied at 3-3.

In the fourth inning, the wheels game off for the visitors, Matthews led off with a double by Hudson Shoudy, 3 base hits, 2 walks, 3 errors and suddenly the home club had a commanding 9-3 lead. This has been the Mint Hill ball clubs Achilles heel’ this entire season, fielding errors along with some mental mistakes have snatched what should have been a win to a defeat.

The Boys of Summer at Post 555 have plenty of heart, and they bounced back scoring 6 runs of their own in the top half of the sixth inning. Mosrie doubled for his second extra base hit of the game, Aidan Myers followed with a double scoring Mosrie, then 3 consecutive base-on-balls, with the bases loaded Carson Dunlap singled for 2 RBI’s, Max Rimler hit a sacrifice fly, and with two outs Sammy Dansky delivered a hit to cap the scoring. Also, a couple of Matthews errors on the field contributed to the onslaught.

With the score tied at 9-9, Matthews responded with Shoudy getting an RBI single, and a sacrifice fly, along with 2 walks to give the home team an 11-9 edge. Mint Hill added a run with the bases loaded with no outs on a sacrifice fly by McDougall to deep left center field. This ball was a line drive rocket and looked like it might hit the fence or clear the wall, but left fielder Eric Hempe made a gave saving over the head running catch on the warning track preventing three runs from scoring.

The score now 11-10, Mint Hill added two runs in the top in the 7th and final inning to take a 12-11 lead, the big hits being a double by Warfield and a sacrifice fly by Mosrie. With relief pitcher on the mound Ian Fowler for Mint Hill who struck out two batters and got a ground ball to first in the 6th, things looked promising for the visitors.

But once again the wheels came off when Shoudy was hit by a pitch on a 2-2 count, the next two batters Jackson and Alexander walked to load the bases, Andrew Chandler singled to tie the game, and Hempe would hit a slow ground ball toward shortstop, Dansky charging could not field the ball cleanly on the edge of the infield grass as Jackson slid home for the winning run. Matthews had an exciting walk-off win along with the clinging cow bells from the Matthews crowd in jubilation.

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Ed Berti
Ed is retired and remains active as a freelance writer, local journalist and independent contractor. He is engaged in print and electronic media writing stories covering business, sports, hometown news and veteran's affairs including articles of interest to various media outlets. Ed is a graduate of Wagner College where he earned an MBA and holds a BBA from Pace University.
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