Mint Hill American Legion Post 555 Defeats Pineville 5-4

Carson Gesing in relief shutting down Pineville.
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The American Legion Post 555 baseball team “The Boys of Summer” defeated Pineville in a come from behind victory at Independence High School Stadium on Friday night. The team is now 1-1 on the season, and the local talent is looking highly competitive.

Wilson  Lohrer at bat ready to smack a base hit.
Wilson Lohrer at bat ready to smack a base hit.

The visitors from Pineville took an early lead in the top of the first inning. They scratched a run off the starter Adam Wilkerson who ran into some trouble giving up a base-on-balls, a base hit, a hit batsman, and a run scoring on a passed ball by the catcher who was unable to block a ball in the dirt to prevent the run from scoring giving the visitors a 1-0 lead.

The Pineville hitters seemed to be familiar with Wilkerson as they were able to score two more runs in the second inning, and add another run in the third frame giving the visiting team a comfortable 4-0 advantage through 2.5 innings of play.

Ick Cirino fires ball back into the infield after making a nice catch of a foul ball.
Ick Cirino fires ball back into the infield after making a nice catch of a foul ball.

However, in the bottom half of the third inning, the home team bats woke up and they began to produce some important runs in scoring situations. Indy’s Jake Stanley singled, Wilson Lohrer followed with a singled up the middle, Nathan Sami would hustle out an infield hit to load the bases, then Andy Duran, two time All-State selection from Queen’s Grant scorched a line-drive into the right-center field gap to the wall for a double, driving in all three base runners putting Mint Hill right back into this ball game. Duran would eventually score when Timmy Cotton would single to left driving in the tying run at 4-4 after three innings of competition.

In the bottom of the fourth inning, Mint Hill would take the lead on a base hit by Jake Stanley, Wilson Lohrer drilling his third single of the game, Nathan Sami would single home Stanley for the eventual game winning RBI. Duran would make the final out on a deep fly ball to the warning track in center field.

Carson Gesing, the Patriots top starter during the high school season pitched shut-out baseball the rest of the way allowing only two hits to earn the win for Mint Hill. Meanwhile, Wilson Lohrer went 3-4, Duran had 3 RBI’s, and Sami contributing the game winner showed this team has some determination and grit.

In fact it was a team effort, the defense which was a little shaky initially, played solidly with fine defensive plays in the outfield, and especially in the seventh inning when Gesing allowed his only walk to the lead-off batter on a 3-2 count, a hard infield grounder was hit in the hole between first and second, Stanley fielded the ball cleanly, he fired a strike to second base covered by shortstop Sami to get the lead runner. Gesing, remaining focused was able to get the final two outs. This game was now done giving the home team their first win of the early season.

All baseball fans should try to come out weather permitting to watch some excellent baseball by many of our best local talent in the area. The following upcoming home games are Sunday, June 20, Monday, June  21, Tuesday, June  22, Thursday, 24, Friday, June 25 at Independence High School. All games begin at 7:00 pm.

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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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