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Rebels edge out Wolves

Sophomore Jon Thomas improved his record to 3-0 pitching a complete game two-hitter. The Rebels recorded a 1-0 win over the Lincolnton Wolves improving their record to 6-2, while the Wolves fall to 1-5 on the season with the loss. Wolves’ senior pitcher Justin Keever was also outstanding allowing only four hits and pitching a complete game in a losing cause. Jenny Walling / LTN
The West Lincoln Rebels had to look no further than sophomore Jonathan Thomas’ right arm Tuesday.
The Rebels won 1-0 over county rival the Lincolnton Wolves.
Thomas credited coaching for his two hitter.
“I was just trying to get ahead of every batter. That’s one our philosophies and it worked pretty well,” Thomas said.
The Wolves best opportunity came in the third inning. Leadoff hitter Brian Ebert singled to start the inning. A Will Fox line drive down the right foul line sent Ebert to third.
However, Thomas, who had no walks in the ball game, got Justin Keever to fly out to end the threat.
The Rebels, however, did manage a run in the third. A Dustin Hester pop fly ended as a base hit to right field. Dylan Anthony, the next batter, blooped one over shortstop Colby Burgin’s head to advance Hester.
An error scored Hester and advanced Anthony to third. However, Keever buckled down getting out of the inning without further damage.
Rebels head coach Allan Chapman was impressed by Keever’s pitching performance.
“As good as Keever is, we were just trying to get the bat on the ball and get it in play. We were fortunate in the third to get a couple of little bloopers and scratch across a run,” he said.
Neither team threatened again in the contest with Keever and Thomas holding the opposing batters at bay.
Keever ended the game allowing four hits and striking out five in a complete game performance.
Thomas, matched the senior pitch-for-pitch, surrendering only two hits and also striking out five. Neither pitcher had any walks in a matchup of two of Lincoln County’s premier pitchers.
Chapman was proud of Thomas after the game.
“I was really impressed with his ability to get ahead and get us in a favorable count. That’s something that’s been talked about over and over and over,” he said.
“He continues to buy into what coach Peeler is working with him on and he’s seeing tremendous success because of that,” Chapman said.
Thomas downplayed his pitching display, instead deferring the credit to his teammates.
“I have to give this one to the defense. They helped me out the whole game. I was very confident any ground ball they were going to make a play on it,” he said.
Thomas’ record improves to 3-0 on the season.
Leading hitters for the Rebels were Dylan Anthony who was 2-for-3, Toby Lawerence who went 1-for-2 and Dustin Hester who also was 1-for-2.
Brian Ebert, Will Fox and Colby Burgin each had a hit apiece for the Wolves.
Ebert played stellar at third base making difficult plays look routine with four assists. Rebels third baseman Paul Finger had five assists for the Rebels.
The win raises West Lincoln’s record to 6-2 on the season.
“It was a big win for conference, but then again it’s only one. It will take a lot more to get to where we want to be,” Chapman.
The solid start to the campaign is something Chapman gushes about after being winless last season.
“I’m really proud for our kids. I think they showed a lot maturity and a lot of character coming from where they were at to where we are now.”
The loss drops the Wolves to 1-5 on the season.by John Mark Brooks

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