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 Jonesâ€™ 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, Hesterâ€™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 Rebelsâ€™ 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 Wolvesâ€™ 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 Boggsâ€™ 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 Rebelsâ€™ hopes for a win did not look favorable with Burgin coming to the plate. But Jones demonstrated his teamâ€™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 Wolvesâ€™ throw was in time, but the ball wasnâ€™t fielded cleanly and Koehler scored off the error to give the Rebels a 7-6 advantage.
â€œIt 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,â€ Koehler described saying he was too tired to heed the coachâ€™s warning.
In the bottom of the ninth, Jones got one strikeout and two groundballs to secure the victory.
â€œOur 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,â€ 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 Rebelsâ€™ 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