People like to say that a postseason series doesn’t begin until the road team wins a game.
In that case, Haywood County Post 47 is off to a rollicking start to the second round of the American Legion’s state playoffs.
Mint Hill has the better record (18-3). But so far, Haywood County (19-5) has the better baseball team.
Post 47 returned home Tuesday night after a 10-3 and 3-2 doubleheader sweep at Charlotte Independence.
Game 3 of the best-of-five series is Thursday night at 6 p.m. at Lake Junaluska Elementary School in Waynesville. Game 4, if necessary, would follow immediately after.
Most of all, Haywood is looking to avoid a return trip to Mecklenburg County for a potential Game 5 on Friday.
“(Tuesday’s wins) were definitely a huge boost to our confidence,” Post 47 coach Mitchell Whitner said.
“We scored five runs in the first inning of the first game and you could see that they were a little shocked, a little stunned at how good we were. It was a good feeling for our boys. At the same time, we realize this series is far from over. They weren’t 18-1 (before Tuesday night) for no reason. The way we’re looking at it is we’ve got two cracks at them on our home field and we want to get this over with.”
Jake Sutton (3-1) and Hunter Stewart (7-0) were the winning pitchers for Haywood County on Tuesday.
On the heels of recruiting visits for Florida State and Virginia, Cal Raleigh was a combined 6-for-8 at the plate with three runs scored. He hit a three-run homer in Game 1.
Nathan Summey and Mason Fox collected three hits apiece in Game 1, while Gray McCurry and Travis Holden had two each.
In Game 2, doubles from Raleigh and Holden were part of a three-run third inning for Post 47. Jace Milkey went 2-for-2.
Haywood County brought back Legion baseball in 2013 after not having a team since 1952.
The current squad is comprised of players from Haywood, Jackson and Yancey counties. Post 47 is the last WNC team remaining in this year’s Legion state playoffs.