Mint Hill forces game five
Mint Hill Post 4059 has forced a series-deciding game five after claiming a 7-4 victory over Caldwell County Post 29 on Saturday night at M.S. Deal Stadium in Granite Falls.
With the series tied 2-2, Post 29 will travel to Mint Hill tonight for game five. The winner will advance to the second round of the Area IV playoffs to take on Shelby Post 82 beginning on Monday night.
Mint Hill took a 2-0 lead after scoring one run in the third and another in the fourth. In the third, Spencer Hutchinson was hit by a pitch with two outs in the inning and stole second. Pete Englert reached on an error that allowed Hutchinson to score. Then in the fourth, James Hickes came in to score on a wild pitch.
Caldwell cut the deficit in half with a run in the bottom of the fourth. Dylan Hamel was hit by a pitch and Brett Macchia followed with a single. John Austin walked to load the bases before Hamel scored on a wild pitch.
Post 4059 went on to score the next four runs of the game. In the fifth inning, Hunter Davis hit a ground ball that took a bad hop over the head of the Caldwell shortstop, allowing two runs to score. Matt Cotton followed with an RBI single to increase the Mint Hill lead to 5-1. Then in the seventh, RJ Merli hit an RBI single. That run was unearned thanks to a Caldwell error.
The 29ers came back with two runs in the bottom of the seventh. Tre Harper hit a leadoff double and scored on an RBI single by Trent Wakefield. Wakefield advanced to second on a passed ball and scored on an RBI single by Hamel to cut the deficit to 6-3.
Mint Hill responded with another unearned run in the eighth. Englert singled and later scored on a Caldwell error to make the score 7-3.
In the bottom of the ninth, Wakefield hit a leadoff double and scored on a one-out, RBI single by Macchia. However, Post 29 would get no closer.
Caldwell and Mint Hill will play for the right to advance to the second round of the Area IV playoffs tonight at Mint Hill at 7 p.m.