Cherryville Downs Mint Hill 3-2 in Senior American Legion Baseball

Shane Russell smacks a long drive for Mint Hill. (Paul Imirie)
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Bubba Comer steals second base in first inning. (Paul Imirie)
Mint Hill batter ready to jump on a pitch. (Ed Berti)
Sam Kagan hurls a strike. (Paul Imirie)
Cherryville hurler tosses a curve ball to Mint Hill hitter. (Ed Berti)
Caleb Embry slides into tag at third base. (Paul Imirie)
Mint Hill batter taking a mighty swing. (Paul Imirie)

Cherryvlle American Legion Post rolled into town on Tuesday night to win a well pitched and tight ball game to even the series between the two teams. Mint Hill defeated Cherryville on their home field on May 27th 4-3. After falling behind 2-1, the visitors scored two runs in the fifth while their pitching shutdown Mint Hill in the final three frames to take home a 3-2 victory.

In the first inning Cherryville scored after Mint Hill starter Ryan Mangum was able to get o quick outs on four pitches. The next batter would single up the middle, the clean-up hitter would smack a double down the left field line, the number five batter would work a walk on a full count, the run would score on a passed ball. Mangum would settle down and strikeout the sixth batter in the lineup to prevent any further damage.

In the third frame, Mint Hill would tie the score when Bubba Comer earned a base on balls, he would steal second base, then Michael Dansky would drill a double into the left-center field gap scoring Comer. Sam Kagan would hit a deep fly to center field to advance Dansky to third base, however he would be stranded when Ryan Mangum would foul out, and Shane Russel would hit a fly to center to end the threat.

Mint Hill starter Ryan Mangum pitched a solid three innings allowing one run, three hits, one base on balls, and accumulated three strikeouts.

In the fourth, Mint Hill would score the go ahead run, Ryan Mangum would single, Owen Tappy would hit a hard liner right at the second baseman for the first out, Caleb Embry would work a walk on a full count, Braden Smith would leg out an infield single, Noah Howie would run for Braden, Bubba Comer would hit a hard grounder up the middle fielded by the shortstop who would step on the bag for the force out at second and toss to first base for the double play, but the speedy Comer would beat the throw scoring the runner from third base to take a 2-1 lead. Meanwhile, starter Ryan Mangum would pitch three solid innings allowing one run, three hits, two base on balls, and accumulated three strikeouts.

In the fifth inning, Raja Milton in relief would come in to pitch and could not find the strike zone on a consistent basis, he allowed one hit and three walks including walking in the winning run with the bases loaded with two outs for Cherryville to take a 3-2 lead. There were also two key errors made in the inning, one by the second baseman on a grounder in the hole, and on a sacrifice bunt down the third base line by the third baseman who made an errant throw. If these plays were made defensively, Milton would have survived the inning without allowing a run.

In the sixth both teams went down in order to keep the score unchanged as Sam Kagan pitched a solid inning in relief for Mint Hill. In the final frame, Corbin Berkovics would enter the game on the mound for Mint Hill. He would allow a hit and walk a batter, after two outs with runners on the corners, he would get Cherryville’s final batter to hit a grounder to second baseman Mangum who fielded the ball cleanly to get the final out to maintain a one run deficit.

Mint Hill would get two runners on base in the last at bat, however, Matthew Mangum with two down would be called out on strikes on an excellent breaking pitch on the black freezing him in the batters box to end the game.

Mint Hill hits the road to play Pineville Friday night at Ardrey Kell High School. Then the boys return home on Saturday June 15th to play Lincoln City at 7 pm, and Monday night June 17th Huntersville at Independence for a 7 pm start.

Team             1  2  3  4  5  6  7  R  H  E

Cherryville    1  0  0  0  2  0  0  3  5  2 

Mint Hill        0  0  1  1  0  0  0  2  5  2

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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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