Mint Hill Junior Legion defeats Burns 9-2 at Independence

Travis Ziefert to smack first pitch for infield hit. (Ed Berti)
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Braian Baez slides into second base safely. (Ed Berti)
Mint Hill pitcher Hoehling delivering another fast ball. (Ed Berti)
Mint Hill runner gets back to first base. (Ed Berti)
Burns hitter is out at first base on grounder to shortstop. (Ed Berti)
Chris Hoehling delivers a strike. (Ed Berti)
Mint Hill hitter ready for action in batters box. (Ed Berti)

The Mint Hill Junior American Legion baseball club slammed 9 hits, and played a perfect game defensively along with solid pitching to cruise to a 9-2 victory on Saturday night.

Starting pitcher Chris Hoehling hurled five strong innings allowing just three hits and two runs for Mint Hill. While relief pitcher Adam Ellington pitched two shut-out innings striking our four batters and allowing one base on balls.

The boys from local VFW Post 4059 struck first when Butler’s speedy Travis Ziefert led off with an infield hit. He takes a nice size lead off first base, and usually gets a good read on the pitcher to get a jump to steal a base. On a pick-off attempt, the ball got passed the first baseman and rolled to the fence, the quick pesky Ziefert scampered around to third base. He would eventually score on a wild pitch for a 1-0 Mint Hill lead.

In the third inning, Mint Hill would add three more runs on multiple base hits, a couple of walks, and the big blow by Independence Patriots Brandon Moser, who would hit a long drive off the left-center field wall for a double and two RBI’s for a 4-0 advantage.

Burns would bounce back in the top of the fourth on two hits, a couple of walks and a two run double on a one hopper to the left center field fence. Hoehling would settled down, and get the next two batters on strikeouts to end the one out threat stranding two base runners. He would then get Burns down in order in the fifth for a good outing of three hit baseball.

In the fifth, Mint Hill would add to their lead with two outs, one run already crossing home plate and runners on second and third, the Stallions power hitting Andy Duran would crush a curve ball deep into left-center field off the fence for two RBI’s to give the home team a 7-2 comfortable lead.

Mint Hill would add two more runs in the sixth, Hunter Garmon would drill a double off the top of the left field fence for two RBI’s taking a commanding 9-2 lead.

The Stallions Braian Baez had a solid offensive performance going 2-2, and perfectly executed two sacrifice bunts to advance runners, he made a significant contribution to the teams victory.

Talking with Stallions coach Dan Kerr after the game, who is the team manager, he said the coaching staff has been very pleased with the progress of the ball club, they feel there are some players who could fit nicely with the senior team if called upon.

The juniors will play a double header at home on June 4th against North Lincoln, the games are scheduled to start at 6 p.m. for game 1, and 8 p.m. in the nightcap. The team is currently 4-1 on the season.

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