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Wolves slip by Lions in eighth

Colby Burgin pitched all eight innings and struck out 10 batters in Thursday’s 7-6 come from behind victory. Burgin also was a threat at the plate going 2-for-4 with two doubles and a RBI. The Wolves are now 3-1 in the Midwest 2A. Jenny Walling / LTN Photo

The Lincolnton Wolves used a late rally to come back from a four-run deficit to beat the Shelby Golden Lions 7-6 in eight innings on Thursday.
Colby Burgin struggled with his location to begin the game.
An Alex Parks’ RBI and T.C. Cook RBI helped give Shelby a 3-0 lead. Burgin was able to get out of the first inning without any further damage.
Burgin said location problems were the reason for his rough start.
“I was having trouble spotting my curve ball, so I had to throw my fastball more than I would like,” he said.
The Wolves stayed in the game with solid defense. In the second inning, Bradley Dalrymple tracked down the ball and launched it into the infield. Justin Keever threw the ball to catcher Evan Wise to prevent the Golden Lions from taking a 4-0 lead.
In the bottom of the third, after a Jeffery Hurt walk, Brian Ebert demonstrated his speed, bunting down the right foul line beating it out at first.
Matt Kuster played the role of opportunist with a pop fly to shallow right field over a leaping Clay Graham. The hit scored Hurt and Ebert to narrow the lead to 3-2.
A Kenny Cox single and Strickland’s second hit of the game set the stage for Smith. Smith took advantage of a hanging fastball, crushing it to right center near the 380 ft. marker for a three-run homerun to give the Lions a 6-2 lead.
After a Wise double, Wise scored on a on errant throw.
Burgin doubled to right center scoring Ebert to make the score 6-4. With Keever reaching on an error and Burgin on third a wild pitch led to another run.
After Shelby inserted pitcher Chase Price, Lincolnton had men on first and second. Dalrymple crushed the ball to left, but Parks the Golden Lions’ thirdbaseman snagged the line drive for the third out.
In the bottom of the seventh, Price struck out Will Fox to begin the inning. Wise stroked his second double of the game. Justin Green entered the game as a pinch runner for Wise.
With one out Jose Leon, who earlier replaced Pedro Fonseca in the batting lineup, singled to center advancing Green to third.
The Wolves tied up the game 6-6 on a Hurt fielder’s choice to send the game into extra innings.
The Wolves retired the Lions in the top half of the eighth.
In the bottom of the inning, Burgin grounded out. Keever, the No. 3 hitter, flew out.
With two outs, Price hit Kuster. Price struck out Dalrymple on a high fastball. The only problem was it was too high.
Dalrymple, who had just slammed his bat down in disgust, hustled to first reaching safely.
Fox who had struck out his previous time up redeemed himself in full crushing the offering to deep left center with a game-winning double.
“I just had to concentrate and relax. I saw it on the outside part of the plate and drove it the other way,” Fox said.
Head coach Bobby Martin was proud of Fox’s game-winner.
“He came through. What happened before does not matter, it’s what have you done for me lately?”
Price endured the loss for the Golden Lions. Burgin pitched a complete game and struck out 10 earning his third victory of the year (3-2).
Leading hitters for Shelby were: Wallace who went 3-for-5, Strickland who went 3-for-4, Smith who went 2-for-3 with three RBIs and Parks who went 2-for-4 with a RBI.
Leading hitters for Lincolnton were: Colby Burgin who went 2-for-5 with one RBI, Kuster who went 1-for-3 with two RBIs and Wise who went 2-for-4 with two doubles. Designated hitter Hurt walked twice.
“Colby has been hitting the ball well all season. It’s good to see Evan hit the ball— I feel he can hit better than he’s shown so far, but maybe this game he broke out of it. Jose definitely had a big hit,” Martin said.
The win improves Lincolnton’s record to 6-5 and ups their Midwest 2A Conference mark to 3-1.
“The kids had a never-say-die attitude and never wavered from that at any point in the game. They are learning how to win,” Martin said.
“We knew we have a tough game tomorrow, so we knew we absolutely had to win this one to keep our spot in the conference and hopefully move up,” Burgin said.
They will host Bandys today with an opportunity to take sole possession of second place.by John Mark Brooks

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