The play of Justin Keever (pictured) and Colby Burgin has been pivotal to the Wolvesâ€™ reversal of fortune. Fellow seniors Bradley Dalrymple and Brian Ebert have also provided a spark. Jenny Walling / LTN Photo
The Lincolnton Wolvesâ€™ season got off to a less than stellar start. However, a recent four-game win streak has turned things around.
â€œAll my kids have done a good job so far. Weâ€™ve lost five ball games, but four of them were to 3A schools. Three of those were two-run games. A little bit of luck and you win those games,â€ Wolves head coach Bobby Martin said.
Martin believes his teamâ€™s success has stemmed from simply having fun.
â€œWeâ€™re just playing together. Everybody is coming together and weâ€™re having a good time. When you have fun, things are a lot easier,â€ he said.
Another area that has improved in their recent play has been their hitting. Martin attributes that to the olâ€™ adage â€˜practice makes perfect.â€™
â€œWe hit everyday. Whatever else we do, we will hit everyday. It is repetitious. I got some good hitters and theyâ€™re just beginning to get into a groove,â€ he said.
The coach believes there have been several factors that have led to the Wolvesâ€™ bats coming alive.
â€œThe weather is getting warmer, weâ€™re taking more batting practice and you just get in a groove. The ball looks big to you, the more you see it,â€ Martin said.
Most of the time a coach, regardless of the sport, can name a couple of players that have spurred the teamâ€™s overall success, but Martin feels like everybody has contributed.
â€œItâ€™s been a team effort. Itâ€™s hard to single out somebody. Iâ€™ve had some kids do it offensively and Iâ€™ve had some kids make some tremendous plays on defense,â€ he said.
In baseball, a big lead doesnâ€™t mean the game is over. One â€˜rallyâ€™ can get a team right back into the game and turn the tides. However, the Wolves lately have put teams away when they got a lead of late.
â€œWeâ€™re beginning to develop a killer instinct. If you get somebody down, go ahead and put it on them,â€ Martin said.
The bats isnâ€™t the only area of improvement, Martin also attributes their four consecutive wins to his pitching.
â€œWe lost two or three close ball games early on. We talked as a team about winning close games and since then they have. Weâ€™ve had good pitching, played good defense and our team earned run average is under three,â€ he said.
The Wolves are 3-1 in the Midwest 2A Conference. That mark is good enough to tie them for second place.
And how does that make Martin feel?
â€œIâ€™m just proud of them,â€ he said.Lincolnton will be in action against East Lincoln on Wednesday at 7 p.m. weather permitting. by John Mark Brooks