7-11-21 roundup: Legion baseball, Little League baseball, Pro golf and baseball

By Richard Walker

Cherryville American Legion Post 100 wrapped up another N.C. Area IV semifinal appearance Sunday night after defeating the Lincoln County Cardinals 12-2 in six innings at Fraley Field to complete a 3-0 sweep of their best-of-five quarterfinal series.

Noah Ingle’s bases-loaded walkoff single in the bottom of the sixth inning wrapped up the mercy rule win that saw Post 100 collect 13 hits and three Cherryville pitchers limited Lincoln to two hits while striking out eight.

Samuel Duncan (two hits, one RBI), Zane Brockman (two hits, three RBIs), Cole Irby (two hits, one RBI) and Joseph Webb (two hits, two RBIs) led the Cherryville offense. And starter Webb was the winning pitcher with scoreless relief from Brett Mason and Landon Hahn.

Gavin Jiminez’s two-run home run led the Cardinals, whose season ended at 4-5.

Cherryville now advances to its Area IV-record 37th semifinal appearance for a best-of-five series against the ongoing Mint Hill-Burke County series.

If Mint Hill wins the current series – it currently holds a 2-1 series lead – the semifinal series would open Wednesday at 7 p.m. at Charlotte’s Independence High School. If Burke County wins the current series, Cherryville would host Wednesday’s opener at 7 p.m.

Shelby (30), Hickory (28), Gastonia (26) and Caldwell County (24) are the only other Area IV teams with 20 or more semifinal series appearances since that playoff format was adopted in 1953.

Rutherford County 7, Gaston Braves 1: The Braves led 1-0 after 2 1-2 innings before Rutherford County rolled to a victory that gives it a 2-1 lead in the best-of-five quarterfinal series.

Grayson Guy (two hits, one RBI) led the Braves’ offense.

Game 4 of the series is Monday at 7 p.m. at Forest City’s McNair Field.

Queen City 6, Cleveland County 3: Visiting Queen City completed a 3-0 quarterfinal series sweep by taking a 5-0 lead and holding off a Cleveland County rally.

Cleveland County (10-7) scored once in the fifth, sixth and seventh innings as Luke Reynolds (three hits) and Jackson Ledbetter (two hits, one RBI) led the Post 82-155 offense.

Queen City advances to play the winner of the Rutherford County-Gaston Braves series in a best-of-five semifinal series that will begin on Wednesday.




Pro golf

Gastonia’s Harold Varner III will be heading to the year’s final major championship – The Open – after Masters champion Hideki Matsuyama had to withdrawn because of a recent COVID-19 diagnosis and his inability to practice properly.

Matsuyama, who became the first male golfer from Japan to win a major championship when he won the Masters in April, tested positive for the coronavirus on July 2 before the second round of the Rocket Mortgage Classic in Detroit.

Varner, a 2008 Forestview High graduate, previously played in the 2016 British Open, shooting 11-over-par to finish tied for 66th.

Currently 71st in FedEx points, Varner has a No. 87 world ranking.




Bessemer City Hall of Fame

The city of Bessemer City will be sponsoring the inaugural Bessemer City Sports Hall of Fame on Saturday, Aug. 14th.

The banquet was originally scheduled for March 2020 but was postponed due to the coronavirus. The induction class will be Kevin Millwood, the 1959 Bessemer City High School state championship baseball team, Jackson “Ace” Parker, Shameka Smith and Mike Mahaffey and the keynote speaker will be former Bessemer City and Gardner-Webb head football coach Woody Fish.



Junior Legion baseball

The Area IV tournament begins on Monday with teams competing for two spots in the N.C. state tournament in High Point.

Cherryville is the top seed in a double-elimination Pod A and hosts Caldwell County. The other Pod A opener has Burns visiting South Caldwell. Games continue through July 16.

East Rutherford is the top seed in double-elimination Pod B and hosts Stuart Cramer. The other Pod B opener has R-S Central visiting Matthews.




Little League baseball

After losing its state tournament opener 11-3 to Lake Norman in Charlotte on Saturday, Cherryville plays again in the double-elimination tournament on Monday night at 8 p.m.



Major league draft

Two former N.C. high school products were selected in the first round of Sunday’s Major League baseball draft.

Wake Forest High shortstop Kahlil Watson was selected No. 16 overall by the Miami Marlins and former Fayetteville Cape Fear standout Gavin Williams of East Carolina was selected No. 23 overall by the Cleveland Indians.



Pro baseball

The Gastonia Honey Hunters closed their road trip at Lancaster with a 7-4 win on Sunday to improved their record to 17-21.

Gastonia has a day off on Monday before playing a four-game series at High Point that begins with a Tuesday doubleheader.