The Union County American Legion baseball team came into Mint Hill and took over a game played at Independence High School from the sixth inning forward completely shutting down the Mint Hill Legion offense.
Union County took a quick 3-0 lead in the top of the first inning on 3 hits, an error and a hit batsman against starter Trey Archer. However, Mint Hill can score runs and they came back with two of their own in the bottom of the second. With one out Brent Moody singled, TJ McEvilly reached on an error, Nick Melton hit into a force play, then 16 year old Noah Howie smacked a double to drive in 2 runs for the home team. Christian Ezell followed with an infield hit, with runners on first and third and Matthew Magnum at bat, Ezell tried to steal second base and was gunned down to end the threat.
In the third inning both teams scored one run. Union County scored on a sacrifice fly, while in the home half of the third Magnum singled stole second base, with clean-up hitter Cooper Fandel at bat he cracked a hard ground ball going up the middle on a hit and run, the second baseman went deep in the hole to make a fine play just nipping Fandel by a step at first, however, Magnum who had a great jump was running hard rounded third at full speed and easily scored. After three innings Union led 4-3.
In the fourth inning Union County added another run off Mint Hill’s new pitcher Zack Meinstry for a 5-3 lead. In the bottom of the inning with Nick Melton on second base and TJ McEvilly on third with 2 outs Christian Ezell drove a single through the infield to collect 2 RBI’s and tie the game 5-5.
The fifth inning the visitors added two more runs to give themselves a 7-5 lead on two hits. The big blow in the inning came with 2 outs and a runner on first, Sam Mennitt a power hitter from Cuthberton High School blasted a home run over the left field fence for 2 RBI’s off pitcher Zack Meinstry. In the home fifth Mint Hill with one out had hot hitter Cooper Fandel at bat who then singled for his second hit of the night, Kobe Phillips then doubled putting runners on second and third, Fandel scored on a ground ball hit by Brent Moody up the middle which was fielded by the shortstop to get the out a first. On the play Fandel scooted home from third base. After five innings of play Union County still led 7-6.
Mint Hill did not have a serious offensive threat between the sixth and ninth innings putting up goose eggs. Meanwhile, Union County added 3 more insurance runs in the eight inning with the key hit coming off the bat of Logan Plattenburg who hit a solo home run deep into left center off of pitcher Austin Ashley with 2 outs. However, Ashley then gave up a hit to Ryan Johnson, he proceeded to hit the next two batters and was pulled by Coach Stu Brown. With the bases loaded on a 3-2 count relief pitcher Warren Alwran got the final out on a fly ball to right field.
Will Franklin pitched the ninth inning for Mint Hill and shut down Union County in order to finish out the game for the home team.
Mint Hill will be playing Saturday, June 3rd at home. So come on out and support your hometown team.