The Mint Hill Senior American Legion baseball club made up of top talent from five area high schools and returning college players between the ages of 17-19 defeated the Legion team from Kings Mountain 13-1 in the home opener on Thursday night.
After three innings of play the home team had a 7-1 lead on three hits, however, six base on balls added significantly to the damage along with an error at home plate by the Kings Mountain catcher on a force play.
In the bottom of the fourth inning Independence Patriots Cooper Fandel lead off with a double to right center. After a wild pitch Fandel moved to third. Austin Purser a college player followed with another double for an RBI. Kobe Phillips a former Butler High standout and currently at UNCC walked, Brent Moody worked another walk to load the bases, Mitchel Cope hit into a force play scoring a run, Matthew Magnum walked for an RBI, Noah Howie smacked a line drive singled to center to score two more runs. When the inning was over the home team added another 5 runs breaking the game wide open for a 12-1 lead.
In the bottom half of the fifth inning Christian Ezell doubled with one out. After Will Franklin advanced Ezell to third on a hard grounder to second, Brent Moody hit a long drive to right center that was dropped by the right fielder to score Ezell. Mitchel Cope then ended the inning with a ground out to second base. So after five innings of play the boys from Mint Hill extended their lead to 13-1.
In the seventh inning Heath McKay from Covenant Day came in to pitch for Mint Hill. After striking out the first batter he had a hard time finding the strike zone. He walked the next three batters, and two on 3-2 counts to load up the bases for Kings Mountain. After a visit to the mound by the pitching coach, he settled down to strike out the next batter on 4 pitches, and retired the final out with a fly ball to right.
After the game Head Coach Stu Brown was real pleased with his teams performance as this club is starting to come together after only their third game of the young campaign. Mint Hill is now 2-1 on the season after splitting a doubleheader with Cherryville.
Cooper Fandel went 2-4 with 3 RBI’s, Austin Purser 2-2 with 2 RBI’s, and Noah Howie 1-2 contributing 2 RBI’s to lead the offense for Mint Hill.
The next home game will be Tuesday night May 30th at Independence High School Stadium at 7:00 pm. Come out and enjoy some good baseball. Tickets are $6.00 for adults and $4.00 for students.