Greene, Shelby slide by Hickory in game one, 5-4

Hickory had Shelby right where it wanted it in the first game of the Area IV semifinals on Tuesday.

However, Post 82 chipped away at an early four-run deficit inning by inning to come away with a 5-4 victory at Veterans Field at Keeter Stadium.

Shelby (31-6) leads the best-of-five series with Hickory, 1-0, and remains undefeated this postseason (7-0).

The win by Post 82 was also its ninth one-run victory of the season.

"When you get into the third round, you expect games to be close with one or two runs for the most part," said Hickory coach Fore Rembert. "You've got two really good teams battling it out. We hit the ball well, played tremendous defense and our pitching is coming along. We only had one error tonight. That's really all we've committed the last three or four games, and it was a hustle play that we made the error on. I feel like this is a very evenly matched series."

After giving up four Hickory runs in the second inning, Shelby pitcher Dustin Greene settled in and struck out eight of his nine batters in the final seven innings.

Greene, who threw 133 pitches (87 for strikes), also helped his own cause on offense with two RBIs and two runs scored.

"Their pitcher gave up four runs to us early on, and then we couldn't find a way to get on the board the rest of the night," Rembert said of Greene. "He is a college kid. He throws well."

Colton Chapman led Hickory (20-9) with two hits, including a two-RBI single in the second. Luke Barton also tallied an RBI single in the inning.

The focus now shifts to game two of the series between the two teams, which will take place at Henkel-Alley Field on the grounds of the American Legion Fairgrounds in Hickory.

Rembert said he will likely pitch Colton Allison in game two of the series followed by either Tyler Pait or Greg Lucas for game three on Thursday at Shelby High School.

"Colton Allison will go tomorrow," Rembert said. "We'll go as long as he can go. He is nine-inning guy for us most of the time. We expect him to do that Wednesday, give us a great performance and win every inning. We just want him to pace himself and win every inning. That's kind of where we are at right now. We'll play it game by game."