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Rebels win

Dustin Hester was disqualified for not sliding into home plate in the top of the third inning. Jenny Walling / LTN Photo

After nearly three and a half hours of baseball the West Lincoln Rebels defeated the Lincolnton Wolves 7-6.
In the top of the third inning, Will Fox made a heads-up play throwing Dustin Hester out at home. On the play, Hester did not slide which resulted in his ejection from the ballgame.
Chris Henderson, after a Brandon Jones’ fielder choice, stroked a RBI single to left to knock in Dylan Anthony for a 1-0 lead.
The Rebels added two more runs in the top of the fourth for a 3-0 lead. Derrik Boggs, Hester’s replacement, at first made the most of his opportunity with a RBI groundout.
The Wolves quickly answered in the bottom of the fourth. Matt Kuster crushed a ball past Rebels’ thirdbaseman Paul Finger for a RBI to narrow the margin to 3-1.
A Bradley Dalrymple sacrifice bunt moved Justin Keever and Kuster to second and third. Will Fox, the next batter, ripped a line drive just out of reach of firstbaseman Boggs for a two-RBI single to tie the game 3-3.
Zac Koehler, who started the game, was removed after working four and a third innings. Head coach Allan Chapman inserted Toby Lawerence.
Evan Wise, the first batter Lawerence faced, scored Fox via a deep double to left center. The RBI allowed the Wolves to take the first lead of the game 4-3.
Colby Burgin, who started the game, worked five and a third giving up three earned runs before Keever replaced him.
Koehler, the first batter Keever faced, got a hit to load bases for the Rebels with one out.
Keever, who struck out nine batters, buckled down and got out of the jam with a strikeout and a groundout preventing any runs.
In the top of the sixth, Anthony scored on an errant throw by Wolves’ third baseman Brian Ebert to first. The run tied up the contest 4-4.
Daniel Scronce reached on an error to start things off the Rebels in the top of the eighth. A Boggs’ sacrifice moved Scronce to second. An Anthony line drive scored Scronce.
Anthony stole second and a wild pitch moved him to third. Jones reached on an error which scored Anthony to give the Rebels a 6-4 lead.
Jones, who replaced Jonathon Thomas in the sixth inning as pitcher, walked Dalrymple and Fox with Wise coming to bat in the bottom of the eighth.
Wise hit a foul ball that had it been fair won the game for the Wolves.
Jones rectified his mistake pitch, battling back to strike out Wise. Jose Leon, the No. 8 batter, with one out connected to deep left center which scored Dalrymple to narrow the lead to 6-5.
Jones, with one out, struck out the next batter putting himself one out away from winning the game.
Ebert, the leadoff batter, was 1-for-4 previous to this at bat.
Jones placed the pitch count in his favor getting Ebert down 1-2. But the senior, with a full count, refused to be denied, dinking a ball down the right foul line scoring Fox.
The Rebels’ hopes for a win did not look favorable with Burgin coming to the plate. But Jones demonstrated his team’s resilient spirit, striking him out to end the inning.
In the top of the ninth inning, Koehler who was 1-for-3, crushed a ball to left center for a triple.
Koehler rounded third with Chapman giving him the stop sign, but Koehler barreled towards home.
The Wolves’ throw was in time, but the ball wasn’t fielded cleanly and Koehler scored off the error to give the Rebels a 7-6 advantage.
“It was a fast ball up in the zone. I thought the ball was going to be caught. I saw Chapman holding me up, but I knew there was no way I could go back to third so I kept going,” Koehler described saying he was too tired to heed the coach’s warning.
In the bottom of the ninth, Jones got one strikeout and two groundballs to secure the victory.
“Our motto is throw every first pitch for a strike, get ground balls, first batter of every inning out. I mostly go for ground balls and let my teammates make the plays behind me,” Jones said.
Leading hitters for the Rebels were Anthony 2-for-4 with a RBI, Henderson 2-for-5 with a RBI and Koehler who was 2-for-4.
Ebert, Burgin and Keever all had two hits. Fox had two RBIs.
The win raises the Rebels’ record to 10-6, 4-4 (MW2A), the loss drops the Wolves to 7-7, 5-3.
Up next for both teams will be the Easter Tournament next Monday.by John Mark Brooks

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