Chris Hogue pitched seven complete innings in North Lincolnâ€™s 11-4 victory over the Highland Tech Rams on Friday. The right-hander struck out eight batters and gave up only two runs. The win advances the Knightsâ€™ record to 3-5.
Jenny Walling / Lincoln Times-News
The North Lincoln Knights defeated the Highland Tech Rams 11-4 Friday.
Back-to-back singles by Kyle Baker, Devin Borders and Trevor Cavazos set the table for Alex Loftin in the second inning.
Lofting knew just what to do, stroking a two RBI single up the middle for a 2-0 Knightsâ€™ lead.
After two innings, the score was 3-1 North advantage. That was before Josh Belk got it going.
Belk, who was 2-for-3 in the contest, singled, then promptly stole second and third. A Trent Hopkinsâ€™ double scored Belk.
Baker flew out, bringing in Hopkins after he stole third. Borders doubled, knocking in Pendleton to give the Knights a 6-1 lead through three innings of play.
North Lincoln however was not finished. In the fourth inning after a Hogue single, Belk crushed a two-run homerun to put the Knights up 8-1.
After Hopkins reached on an error, Pendleton doubled down the line, knocking him in. Baker knocked in Pendleton, then a Wayne White RBI scored Baker to give the Knights an 11-2 lead.
Behind the strong pitching of Chris Hogue the Knights cruised the rest of the way.
Hogue, a right-handed sophomore, pitched a complete game striking out eight batters. He advanced his record to 2-1 on the season and only surrendered two runs.
â€œHe came out and pitched the performance we wanted out of him. He got ahead of batters and they hit ground balls right at our guys when they made contact. He kept the ball down in the zone,â€ Knights head coach Sean Andrews said of Hogueâ€™s play.
Belk, also a sophomore, led the Knights with two hits and two RBIs. He also scored two runs and stole two bases.
Andrews believed Belk was out to make a point singing his own redemption song.
â€œHe came out wanting to get us going and take us under his wing. In the game against Lincolnton he didnâ€™t start, so I guess he kind of wanted to redeem himself,â€ he said.
The Knights improve their record to 3-5 on the season. Andrews, however, feels some losses could have been avoided.
â€œI knew we were going to lose some games. The games we did lose, it was just young mistakes that a young team is going to make.â€
North Lincoln will host Bessemer City on Tuesday.
The Wolves improved their record to 3-5 overall and 1-1 in the Midwest 2A Conference with a 4-3 win over Chase Friday.
Bradley Dalrymple led the Wolves with three hits, while teammate and fellow senior Justin Keever recorded two.
Colby Burgin earned the win for the Wolves. The Wolves will host Bunker Hill on Tuesday.
Last Wednesday, the Wolves defeated North Lincoln 13-0 in five innings.
Dustin Weaver worked five innings and struck out 11 Knight batters while allowing only one hit. Weaver also showed excellent control walking only two. Matt Kuster and Evan Wise both homered for the Wolves. by John Mark Brooks