Cherryville downs East Rutherford in nine innings
East Rutherford got 12 hits and 10 runs Wednesday night at home against Cherryville, but it wasn't enough as the Ironmen capitalized with unearned runs — including three in the top of the ninth inning — to escape Forest City with a 12-10 win in nine innings.
"It was evenly-matched game the whole night," East Rutherford head coach Bobby Reynolds said. "I just wish we could've made them earn it instead of giving so many runs away."
The Cavaliers (3-1) struck first when an RBI double by Austin Street scored John Padgett in the bottom of the second.
Cherryville (3-2) responded in the top of the third with three runs as East Rutherford Dylan Cromer struggled.
Cromer continued to struggle in the fourth putting the first two batters on base before he was replaced with Kaleb Greene. However, Greene struggled with his command as a myriad of walks and wild pitches allowed Cherryville to take a commanding 7-1 lead.
East Rutherford loaded the bases in the fourth when a high fly ball to center off the bat of John Bennett was taken over by the wind and landed in right field for a base hit. Chase Jenkins took advantage of the runners on base in a big way by blasting Noah Eacker’s first offering over the left field fence for a grand slam cutting the Cherryville lead to 7-5.
Eacker was pulled and replaced with Randall Long and the Cavaliers put runners on second and third with two outs, but Long struck out A.J. Simmons to end the threat and preserve the lead.
Marcus started on the mound for East in the sixth inning but Cromer re-entered with two outs and runners on the corners and made a costly mistake when he threw a pickoff attempt into foul territory behind third base allowing Tyler Beam to score from third and stretch the lead to 8-5.
Bennett put the Cavaliers back within a run in the bottom half of the sixth with a big two-run double to score Tripp Hamrick and Cameron Hodge and a Cherryville error on a John Padgett one-hopper to first allowed Bennett to score and tie the game at 8-8.
Neither team scored in the seventh to send the game to extra innings.
Dillon Harris put Cherryville back on top with an RBI double in the eighth but Jenkins knocked in his fifth run of the night in the bottom half to tie the game, 9-9, and keep the Cavaliers alive.
"Jenkins had a great game tonight," Reynolds said. "This has to be one of the biggest games he's ever had for us."
However, a two-out rally by Cherryville in the ninth ended with the Ironmen leading 12-9.
East managed to get a run in the bottom of the ninth but couldn’t extend the game falling 12-10.
The Cavaliers travel to Burns Friday night to open conference play.
ELSEWHERE: The Chase Trojans softball team bounced back in a big way pounding Shelby 10-4 on the road Wednesday night.
"We were much improved from yesterday," said Chase head coach Daniel Bailey. "Our bats came around and our defense made some good plays. They was no such thing as a routine fly ball in those conditions tonight."
Chase (1-1, 1-1 SMAC) was led at the plate by Ashley Browns three hits while Devyn Gowan, Erika Dover and Maggie Robbins each had two hits apiece for the Lady Trojans.
Chase returns to action Friday as they travel to Crest
In baseball action, Chase (2-3, 1-2 SMAC) dropped a hard-fought battle to Shelby 9-6.