CHERRYVILLE – Adam Pate may have taken a closer look in the mirror Monday morning to see if any gray hair popped up in his beard overnight.
He wouldn’t be surprised if he did.
The Wayne County Post 11 skipper watched his team capture three walk-off victories, including two in extra innings, during the three-day Senior American Legion June Classic played at Keeter Field in Shelby and Fraley Field at Cherryville High School.
“It was a ton of fun,” Pate said.
Post 11 opened the Classic with a 2-1, eight-inning conquest of Cleveland County on Friday evening.
Tied at 1-1, Lane McLean stroked a one-out triple to center field in the bottom of the eighth. Braeden Collins and Logan Merritt drew back-to-back walks to load the bases.
Mason Moffett reached on an infield error that scored McLean for the game-clinching run.
Nate Smith emerged as the winning pitcher. He threw two-plus innings of no-hit, two-strikeout relief. Cullen Tucker started and earned a no-decision.
The drama continued Saturday against Randolph County.
Knotted at 3-3, pinch-hitter Drew Sweet opened the seventh with a lead-off double. Carter Aycock and Drew Spencer each drew a free pass to load the bases.
Will Lassiter replaced Sweet at third and trotted home on McLean’s decisive infield single.
Carson Gipson came out of the bullpen and picked up his first win on the bump. The Charles B. Aycock grad yielded one run on one hit and retired two RC batters on strikeouts in one inning of work.
Will Pennington started and got the no-decision. The soon-to-be Southern Wayne grad permitted an earned run on three hits in two-plus innings and logged one strikeout.
Perennial Legion powerhouse Cherryville Post 100 erupted for four runs in the seventh inning and knocked off Wayne County, 5-1, late Saturday evening.
Moffett paced Post 11’s offense with two hits and an RBI. Merritt, Davis Albert and Alex Ferrell provided one hit apiece.
Cullen Tucker took the mound loss in relief of starter Richard Noble. A rising senior at Southern Wayne, the right-handed Noble limited Cherryville to a single earned run and posted three strikeouts in four-innings on the bump.
Post 11 needed 10 innings to dispatch Cleveland County, 5-4, on Sunday afternoon.
Aycock started the game-winning rally with a double to left field in the bottom of the 10th. McLean pushed Aycock to third with a sacrifice bunt. Collins and Merritt drew consecutive walks to load the bases.
Moffett drove home Aycock with an RBI groundout to third and finished the day 2-for-5 with three RBI.
Pennington batted 2-for-4. McLean, Collins, Albert, Spencer and Aycock contributed one hit apiece.
Anderson Clucas claimed the pitching decision with two innings of one-hit, four-strikeout relief.