Mint Hill streak now 7 games as they defeat Maiden 5-4 in final at bat

Drew Harris delivers a pitch for Mint Hill. (Ed Berti)
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Ryan Mangum on the mound for Mint HIll. (Ed Berti)
C.J. Brown slides safely back into first base on pick-off attempt. (Ed Berti)
Bubba Comer at bat with Grant the official scorer looking on from press box. (Ed Berti)
J.D. Yakubanis at bat for Mint Hill. (Ed Berti)

The Mint Hill Legion “Cardiac Kids” continue to streak with their seventh consecutive win as they bounced back from a 4-2 deficit to beat Maiden 5-4 in a thriller on Saturday night at Independence High School Stadium.

This is a solid baseball club from top to bottom the coaches have assembled from six different high schools in the area. They have power, speed, solid pitching, play  aggressively with a can do attitude. This is certainly the best all-around team to come through Mint Hill in the past three years with depth. The coaches have combined their individual talents to deliver an 11-3 season to date.

Independence Patriots Drew Harris took the mound and pitched a competitive five innings to keep his club in contention. He allowed 4 hits, 4 runs, had 2 strikeouts and walked 2 batters.

Mint Hill scored one run in the first inning and in the third Ryan Mangum blasted a long drive over the left-center field fence to tie the ball game. However, Maiden scored a run early on a controversial balk call by the officials. They scratched another run in the second inning on a couple of hits and an error. In the fifth, Harris would give up a two-run home run with two strikes on the batter who drilled the pitch over the left field fence to take a 4-2 lead.

In the sixth, Ryan Mangum entered the game in relief, he put down the side in order striking out the first two batters he faced. In the bottom-half of the sixth, with one out and runners on first and second, Owen Tappy drilled a hit scoring the runner from second base, now with the runners on the corners with two outs, Braden Smith lined a double to right-center to tie the ball game at 4-4.

In the seventh, Mangum ran into some control trouble by allowing two walks and a hitting a batter, but was able to pick-off the runner at second base for the second out, and strike out the final batter he faced on a 2-2 fast ball on the black freezing the hitter to prevent any damage.

The winner came with two outs and Caleb Embry on first base, he stole second base putting him in scoring position, then Owen Tappy would drive a hard hit ground ball up the middle for the winning walk-off hit to give Mint Hill a sweet comeback win 5-4.

Ryan Mangum picked up the win in relief, while Tappy had a big night driving in key runs for the hometown team on two huge timely hits.

On June 26th, the seniors return home to play Pineville at 7 pm. Come out to the ballpark and enjoy a good brand of baseball and root for the home team.

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