North Lincoln earned their first baseball win in school history beating the West Lincoln Rebels 10-5 on Friday.
The Knights wasted no time getting started, scoring five runs in the second inning to take a 5-3 lead through two innings of play.
North Lincoln scored one run in the fourth and fifth inning to extend their lead to 7-3.
West Lincoln tried to rally in the sixth, but were only able to muster two runs. North scored three runs to close out a big day.
Leading hitters for the Rebels were Dylan Anthony, who was 2-for-4 with a double and RBI,and Paul Finger who was 3-for-4 with two doubles and four RBIs.
Leading hitters for the Knights were Alex Loftin, 2-for-4, and Trent Hopkins who homered and had four RBIs.
Josh Belk pitched five and two-thirds to earn the win. T.J. Skidmore recorded the save pitching an inning and a third.
Knights head coach Sean Andrews was excited about their first win.
â€œItâ€™s extremely big. The kids were nervous on Monday when we first played West. You could definitely tell they had the jitters,â€ he said.
â€œWednesday we played Lake Norman and we had them beat, but kind of got tired during the end. â€œWe had been talking about what we needed to correct and followed our game plan of being aggressive at the plate and on the base paths. Hitting good pitches and looking at bad ones,â€ Andrews said explaining the formula for their first win.
The Rebels out-hit the Knights 8-5. However, they also walked 10 Knightsâ€™ batters.
â€œWe out-hit them, so we feel like we did our job at the plate. We just had some untimely walks and errors that we just werenâ€™t able to overcome,â€ Rebels head coach Allan Chapman said.
Despite pointing out areas his team didnâ€™t play well, Chapman took nothing away from his former assistant coach and his new team.
â€œThey played really hard. The Belk kid did a good job getting out of trouble. We left 12 base runners on, but he just did a good job getting out of jam after jam,â€ he said.
â€œWe didnâ€™t move runners over and get runners in,â€ Chapman said.
The loss drops the Rebels to 2-1. The Knights are now 1-2.
The Knights face the same situation they did in footballâ€” no facilities.
â€œWe greatly appreciate East Lincoln Optimist Club for helping us out. Theyâ€™ve done more than fair share of preparing the field and letting us use the facility,â€ he said.
North Lincoln will visit Lake Norman today.
West Lincoln vs. Bessemer
Rebelsâ€™ sophomore pitcher Jon Thomas hurled a three-hitter in a 7-2 win over Bessemer City on Saturday.
The Rebels had a 4-1 lead through four innings. They added three more in the sixth to take a commanding 7-1 lead and never looked back.
Thomas picked up his first win of the season, while Chris McDaniel got the loss for the Yellow Jackets.
Paul Finger was 1-for-3 with a double and three RBIs. Dustin Hester was 1-for-1 with two RBIs. Daniel Scronce chipped in with a RBI single.
Rebels head coach Allan Chapman believes moving Paul Finger down in the lineup has had an impact.
â€œWe moved him down to the No. 5 hole against North, just so he could relax. He really seemed to find his rhythm and groove there. Heâ€™s a great hitter and once he got his confidence back he did a great job Friday and Saturday,â€ he said.
When Thomas is on the mound, the team feeds off his energy, Chapman said.
â€œJT is going to be a tremendous pitcher for us. Right now Heâ€™s a sophomore and heâ€™s working hard. Heâ€™s learned so much this off-season heâ€™s worked a lot,â€ he said.
Chapman was pleased that Thomas was not intimidated by Bessemer batters crowding the plate.
â€œHis fastball was located well, similar to what Zac (Koehler) did the other day. Heâ€™s not afraid to go inside. He didnâ€™t back down and wasnâ€™t intimidated at all,â€ he said.
After losing to North, Chapman was pleased the way his team responded on Saturday.
â€œThe main thing Iâ€™m pleased with is we didnâ€™t want to lose Friday, but it was good to see how they reacted after the loss. Last year, we wouldâ€™ve given up. They didnâ€™t dwell on it, but they allowed it to motivate them and come out and do their best on Saturday,â€ he said.
Solid defensive play stood out, Chapman said.
â€œWe had the three errors against North, but we played four games and made only three errors. Iâ€™m very pleased with that.â€
The Rebels improve to 3-1 on the season. The Rebels will play Fred T. Foard today.by John Mark Brook