The local “Boys of Summer” jumped off to a quick start and never looked back in the 2nd round opener at Independence High School Stadium against Lincoln County.
In the second inning, Owen Tappy led off with a single up the middle, Caleb Embry would double into the gap scoring the runner, Braden Smith hit a line drive single driving in Embry for the second run, Michael Dansky walked, Sam Kagan drilled a rocket to right for an RBI single to end the scoring giving Mint Hill a 3-0 start.
In the third, Tappy would get his second base hit, then Ryan Mangum with one out put a charge into a fast ball that sailed high over the left-center field fence for a two run homer. Embry followed with another single, stole second base, and scored on an RBI single by Smith to give the home team a 6-0 lead.
Meanwhile, starting pitcher Sam Kagan was mowing down the Lincoln County hitters allowing only three hits, two base on balls, four strikeouts and only one run scored in the top of the fourth inning making it a 6-1 ball game.
In the home half of the fourth inning, Tappy would pick-up his third consecutive hit, a couple of walks to load up the bases, Braden Smith on a 3-2 count worked ball four to score the seventh run, Comer followed with a base hit for two more runs to add 3 for the inning before the rains came to wash out the opener.
The game would resume the following night with runners on first and third with one out as per the playoff rules in Lincoln County. Mint Hill would add another run to take a 10-1 lead going into the fifth frame. Relief pitcher Jake McDaniel took the mound and pitched three solid innings allowing just one run to give Mint Hill the 10-2 victory in the opener.
In the second game, Mint Hill did not fair as well taking an 8-4 loss on the road. Starting picture Bryce Gorospe was knocked around early giving up 6 runs in four innings of work on the mound. However, Mint Hill did score 4 runs of their own to keep the score at 6-4 and the game within reach.
In the sixth inning, Lincoln County would touch up Gorospe for two more runs extending the lead to 8-4. Mint Hill could not muster any additional offense and traveled back home all even in the best of five series.
Team – Game 1 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 R H E
Lincoln County 0 0 0 1 1 0 0 2 6 1
Mint Hill 0 3 3 4 0 0 0 10 14 0
Team – Game 2 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 R H E
Mint Hill 1 0 2 1 0 0 0 4 8 2
Lincoln County 1 0 4 1 0 2 0 8 10 1