Poole, Null combine to strike out 12 in win

Post 48 opened the first round of the Region IV playoffs Tuesday with a bang.

Hickory scored four runs in the first two innings and got strong pitching performances from Tyler Poole and Jeremy Null. The duo combined to strike out 12 Gaston batters and allowed one run, as Post 48 won the opening game of a best-of-five series against the Braves, 4-1.

Post 48 scored its first two runs of the game in the top of the first inning. An error by Gaston’s Logan Walden allowed Cole McGraw to score from third base. Null, Hickory’s designated hitter at the time, scored on the next at-bat on a wild pitcher from Gaston’s Jeffrey Springs.

Hickory got more offense in the second inning. After a double from Kyle Johnson, a second wild pitch from Springs scored the third Post 48 run.

Poole, who started on the mound for Hickory, was strong in the game. He struck out five batters in the first three innings.

Poole also stranded a run on third base in the third inning. He exited after three innings on the mound.

Null took Poole’s place on the mound and immediately went to work. Null struck out all three batters he faced in the fourth inning.

Derek Perry was able to get Gaston on the scoreboard in the top of the sixth inning on an RBI-triple. He plated center fielder Zech Wiggs on the play to cut the lead down to 4-1.

Another Null strikeout, his seventh, kept Perry at third base to stop the scoring. Null exited in the seventh inning with seven strikeouts.

Post 48 finished strong, allowing no runs on their way to a game one win against Gaston. Hickory plays at Gaston on Wednesday at 7 p.m. before returning home against the Braves on Thursday at 7 p.m.c