Playoff pairings meeting scheduled Friday in Cherryville
NEWTON – Hickory Post 48 finished seventh among eight teams in American Legion baseball’s Area IV West Division, losing its last two games and five of its last six.
Burke County nipped Hickory 4-0 on Monday night in Newton and Rutherford County won 15-3, also in Newton, on Wednesday night.
That left Post 48, coached by Allen Sigmon, at 6-12 overall and 3-11 in the division.
Pairings for the Area IV playoffs (best-of-5) are due out after a meeting on Friday in Cherryville with first-round series beginning Saturday.
The East Division had five teams complete the season and the West had seven, with Queen City winning the East title and Cherryville and Rutherford County sharing the West crown.
If the traditional pairing method is used (West No. 7 vs. East No. 2), Hickory would open the playoffs at Gaston (12-3, 10-2) on Saturday night.
Hickory’s only win in the last six games was a forfeit from Asheville, which dropped out of play.
Post 48’s last on-the-field victory was 4-2 over Caldwell County on June 13.
Rutherford County 15, Hickory 3
Rutherford County had a nine-run second inning and was up 12-3 after six innings on Wednesday night at Henkel-Alley Field.
Four players – Aidin Strange, Caleb White, David Conner and Clayton Brown – each had two hits for Rutherford County (17-9, 12-2).
Boone and White hit home runs and Boone drove in four runs while Strange and White each had two RBIs.
Rutherford County starter Trey Shearer worked three innings, allowing three hits, three runs (two earned) with two walks and one strikeout. Reliever Isaac Lee pitched four innings, giving up two hits, no runs, walking one and striking out four.
Post 48 had five hits with Hayden Tabor (Fred T. Foard), Josh Barkley (St. Stephens) and Aidan Landrum (Fred T. Foard) each driving in one run.
Hickory starter Elijah Miller (Maiden) lasted one inning, allowing six hits, seven runs (all earned), walking three and striking out two.
Hollis Murphis (Hickory Christian Academy) threw three innings, giving up three hits, four runs (two earned) with two walks and a strikeout. Barkley tossed the final three innings for Hickory and was touched for four hits, four runs (all earned), and he walked three and struck out two.
Burke County 4, Hickory 0
Ethan Willis threw a complete game (eight hits, one walk, three strikeouts) in Burke County’s shutout win at Henkel-Alley Field on Monday night.
Burke County scored a run in the fifth inning and three in the seventh inning.
Braxton Hensley and Peyton Smith led Burke County’s nine-hit attack with two each with Hensley adding three RBIs (he had a triple).
Post 48 had eight hits, including three each by Henry Stewart (Hickory) and Barkley.
Luke Davis (Hickory) tossed a complete game for Hickory, allowing nine hits and four runs (all earned) with two walks and one strikeout.
Burke County lost twice to Rutherford County (7-6, 4-3 in 11 innings) to finish 6-10 overall and 6-8 in the West Division, tying Henderson County and Caldwell County for fifth place.
HICKORY POST 48 SCHEDULE, RESULTS
Asheville L, 10-13
Statesville W, 6-0
at Asheville, ppd., June 25
at Caldwell County L, 5-9
at Burke County L, 1-7
at Gastonia W, 9-5
Cherryville, L 3-18
Mooresville, ppd., no date
at Rowan County, L. 1-7
at Cleveland County, L 2-5
Statesville W, 11-8
Henderson County, W, 5-0/L, 5-6
Caldwell County, W 4-2
Cherryville, L 2-8
Cleveland County, L-2-5
at Rutherford County, L 2-10
at Asheville, W 1-0 (forfeit)
Burke County, L 0-4
Rutherford County, L, 3-15
AREA IV STANDINGS: https://carolinassportshub.com/legion-baseball-update-through-june-29/