Former North Gaston High standout playing for Post 100 while also attending summer school at Appalachian State

CHERRYVILLE - Austin Primm didn't look at playing for Cherryville American Legion Post 100 as redemption for his senior year at North Gaston High that ended with a second round N.C. 3A playoff loss.

"I don't know that I look at playing for Cherryville as a second chance," Primm said. "But once we started playing games and now that we're that we're in the playoffs, I think we've got the kind of talent that can make a long playoff run.

"And I'm enjoying every minute of it."

That'll continue Friday at 7 p.m. at Cherryville's Fraley Field when Post 100 begins a best-of-five N.C. Area IV quarterfinal playoff series against Burke County.

Post 100 (25-6) has won 18 of its last 19 games as Primm (6-0) and Friday's projected starter Robbie Cowie (5-0) have been dominating on the mound.

Primm, the projected starter for Saturday's 7 p.m. second game at Morganton's Shuey Field, is coming off perhaps his best effort of the year. He took a perfect game into the fifth inning of a 10-0 victory over Huntersville shortened by the mercy rule and finished with six strikeouts and a one-hitter.

"He just pounded the strike zone," Cherryville coach Bobby Reynolds said of Primm. "He was really good that night. The game lasted only one hour and 15 minutes and he went full count on only one batter."

Primm's performance improved his record to 6-0 on the season with 54 strikeouts in 41 innings and a 0.85 ERA.

"Everything was dialed in for me," Primm said. "I know it sounds cliche' but I'm having so much fun playing with this team."

Primm is doing so the last two weeks while also attending Appalachian State, where he has signed a baseball scholarship for former Belmont Abbey and Gaston Braves head coach Kermit Smith.

"It's been fine but it's been busy," Primm said. "I'm doing two summer school classes and (baseball) workouts every day."

It comes after a spring in which the 6-foot-5, 235-pound Primm became one of five 15-game winners in North Gaston history.

The most valuable player in April when he helped the Wildcats to the 2018 Gaston County Baseball Championship title, Primm finished the season with a 6-4 pitching record that included losses to Crest in the Big South 3A Conference tournament title game and to Alexander Central in the second round of the N.C. 3A playoffs.

"The season didn't end the way we wanted it to because we thought we had a really good team," Primm said.

Primm joined Jake Buchanan (34-9 record from 2004 through 2007), Jared Wallace (25-11 from 2010-13), Henry Rundio (20-13 from 2008-11) and McKinley Scott (18-7 from 2014-16) as pitchers with 15 or more victories in school history.

Getting Primm to play for Post 100 this summer took some prodding, as Primm credits texts from Cowie and Cherryville teammate Brett Eurey with prompting him to join them.

Primm had played for the Charlotte-based Five-Star Carolina showcase baseball team the last few summers but says he's happy to be playing Legion baseball this summer.

"I've enjoyed the teammates I've had and the season we've had," Primm said. "I kinda wish I could've played Legion before now."

 

Richard Walker: 704-869-1841; twitter.com/jrwalk22