Murrells Inlet opens playoffs with big win over Cheraw

Murrells Inlet Post 178 blasted past visiting Cheraw in the first round of the American Legion Baseball playoffs on Monday night at Shark Park.

Murrells Inlet struck for six runs in the first inning and nine runs in the seventh en route to an 18-8 win to take a 1-0 lead in the best-of-5 playoff series.

Charlie Nicholson led Post 178 at the plate by going 3-for-3 with three runs scored, two RBIs and a towering home run to cap Murrells Inlet’s six-run first inning explosion.

Murrells Inlet’s Carl Buddin (3-5, 2 doubles, 2 runs, 2 RBIs) and Billy Ferguson (3-6, 3 runs, 2 RBIs) also had three hits, while Manny Berdayes (2-5, 2 runs, 2 rbis, double) and Trey Merritt (2-5, 2 runs, 2 RBIs, triple) had two apiece.

Post 178 starter Roddy Cross exited in the fourth after Cheraw cut the lead to 9-7, and reliever Joey Troiano allowed a run in the sixth to make it a one-run game. Reliever Carlos Fernendez took over with the bases loaded and got the final two outs unscathed.

Fernandez pitched a perfect seventh to keep it a 9-8 lead for Post 178, which then erupted for nine runs in the bottom of the frame to activate the mercy rule. The two teams play again at 2 p.m. Tuesday at St. James and 7 p.m. Wednesday night in Cheraw.

Photos by Owens Designs

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