Chase Meyers’ dominant pitching performance led Cherokee to a 6-0 Game 3 victory over Mountain View in the opening round of the Class AAAAAAA state playoffs on Friday.
The win was the first home playoff series victory in recent memory, and it also means the Warriors will get a chance to do it again. Cherokee will host Lambert, after it upset Norcross in their first round series, with a doubleheader beginning on Wednesday in Round 2.
“It means a lot, first and foremost its for the players,” coach Josh Thomas said. “They work their tails off. I also have a group of assistant coaches who I played with here. The Cherokee community has been waiting a long time for this. I get goosebumps just talking about it.”
Meyer, a sophomore, allowed only three hits and struck out 11 in the series-clinching performance. His curveball and slider kept the Bears off balance, but his fastball painting the corners of the zone was his best pitch.
“It all started last night,” Meyer said. “I went to bed early, had a great day at school and when I came to the park, I was locked in. First pitch right down the middle and I knew it was our game.”
Thomas said it was a performance that will be remembered.
“His stuff was absolutely electrifying,” he said. “When he is in the strike zone, he’s tough to deal with. He’ll be getting paid one day to play.”
In the bottom of the second inning, Cherokee jumped in front 3-0 behind consecutive singles by Brandon Jackson and Landon Luster, followed by back-to-back RBI doubles by Joe Fisher and Alix Morales.
Cherokee would tack on two more runs in consecutive innings with RBI singles by Carson Mynatt, and Max Eicheberger pushed the lead to 5-0. A wild pitch in bottom of the sixth inning would give the Warriors a 6-0 lead.
Meyer said he was confident heading into Round 2 if he and Eicheberger continue to pitch like they did in Round 1.
“If Max and I pitch the way we did this series, we’re going to sweep them,” Meyer said.