CHERRYVILLE — Sunday night’s match-up with host Cherryville in third day action of the 2019 North Carolina American Legion State Tournament had all kinds of implications riding on the …
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CHERRYVILLE — Sunday night’s match-up with host Cherryville in third day action of the 2019 North Carolina American Legion State Tournament had all kinds of implications riding on the outcome.
A win by Post 45 would mean the Area III champions would win the Stars Division and earn a trip to the state semi-finals.
A loss, depending on the outcome of several scenarios, meant the real possibility that Randolph County was packing it up at Buck Fraley Stadium on the campus of Cherryville High School and coming home.
In dramatic fashion, Randolph County overcame deficits of 2-0 and 4-2 to rally past Cherryville. The win pushed Randolph County to 2-1 in the tournament and gave Post 45 the tiebreaker in the Stars Division over Cherryville, which fell to 2-1.
Randolph County was slated to battle Fuquay Varina, the No. 2 seed out of the Stripes Division, on Monday afternoon at 4:30 pm while the 7:30 pm game pitted Stripes champion Wilmington against Stars No. 2 Cherryville.
Post 45 took its first lead of the game in the sixth when the Area III champs broke a 4-4 tie Harris Jackson was hit by a pitch with two outs, and later scored all the way from first when a fly ball off the bat of Trevor Marsh was misplayed by the Post 100 left fielder for a two base error.
Marsh, a UNC-Wilmington signee, helped put the gave even at 4-4 in the fourth with an RBI double before later scoring on a wild pitch.
Cherryville, which had gone up 2-0 early before seeing Randolph County tie the game in the third behind an Easton Welch single, a pair of walks and an RBI single from Jackson, took a 3-2 lead in the bottom of the frame on a solo shot by Robbie Cowie who had three of the four hits by Cherryville in the contest.
Marsh came in to hurl the final three innings of scoreless relief to get the win on the mound, allowing only a walk and hit a batter while striking out three.
In earlier action on Saturday morning, Randolph County dropped a gut-wrenching 5-4 loss to Kinston in day two action of the NC American Legion state tournament in Cherryville.
Post 45 pounded out 12 hits in the contest but could never string enough together against Post 43 started Trevor Sears who hurled 6.2 innings to get the win. Sears walked one and struck out five while Brendan Gant recored the final out and was awarded a save.
Randolph County left nine men on base including a runner at second base which would tie the game after Post 45 had plated a pair in the final inning behind a bunt single from Spencer Lanier, a base hit from Easton Morgan and a single from Blake Marsh.
The Area III champions had gotten off to a fast start in the first with a pair of runs to go up 2-0 behind a single from Trevor Marsh, a double from Austin Curry and a misplayed fly ball in center off the bat of Morgan.
Kinston evened the game up at 2-2 in the bottom of the first behind just one hit, a double by Cameron Butler which drove in a run.
Post 43 darted in front 5-2 in the fourth highlighted by a double by Ethan May, a triple from Jalin Connor, and a solo homer from Trey McLawhorn.
Randolph County would make its furious rally in the seventh but it wasn’t enough as Kinston held on for the victory.
Offensively Post 45 received a 3-for-4 outing by Morgan which included a run and three RBI and a double while Trevor Marsh was 2-for-3 with a run and was hit by a pitch, Curry 2-for-4 with two runs and a double, Troy Kenney 1-for-2 with a walk, Tatum Marsh 1-for-3, and Lanier, Jackson and Blake Marsh all 1-for-4.
Kinston had just six hits in the win led by McLawhorn who was 1-for-2 with a run, two RBI and a walk, and Jayden Gatling who was 1-for-2 with a run, an RBI and a walk.
Hunter Hill suffered the loss for Post 45 after going one inning and allowing four hits and three runs while Tatum Marsh hurled two innings and yielded two hits while striking out two.
In game one of the tournament on Friday night, Randolph County opened with a hard-fought 7-3 triumph over Union County Post 535.
The come from behind win featured Post 45 rallying from a 3-0 hole in the fifth which saw Randolph County use a lead off double by Blake Marsh to go with an RBI-single from Kinney, a walk to Trevor Marsh, and a single by Lanier to tie the game. Curry added an RBI-single moments later to give RC a 4-3 advantage.
A two-run single by Jackson in the sixth sparked three runs to make the final 7-3.
Union County had taken a 1-0 lead in the third behind a single from Michael Neal, a bunt for a hit by Matt Dugan, a walk and a sacrifice fly from Steven Gonzales.
A Trevor Grant double coupled with an RBI-single from Neal added two more runs for Post 535 in the fourth to up the lead to 3-0.
Curry collected a pair of hits to pace the Randolph County offensive attack while Dawson Davis notched the win on the mound and Trevor Marsh took the save.
NC American Legion State Tournament
Friday, July 26 Results
Wilmington 12 Gaston Braves 7
Fuquay Varina 12 Davidson County 2
Randolph County 7 Union County 3
Cherryville 10 Kinston 1
Saturday, July 27 Results
Kinston 5 Randolph County 4
Gaston Braves 10 Davidson County 6
Cherryville 1 Union County 0
Fuquay Varina 3 Wilmington 2
Sunday, July 28 Results
Gaston Braves 8 Fuquay Varina 7 (10 innings)
Union County 9 Kinston 6
Wilmington 7 Davidson County 1
Randolph County 5 Cherryville 4
Monday, July 29 Schedule
4:30 p.m. Randolph County versus Fuquay Varina
7:30 p.m. Wilmington versus Cherryville