Pitcher Zac Koehler is a pivotal player for the Rebels who have a 10-6 overall record and 4-4 Midwest 2A Conference Mark. Koehler has a perfect game to his credit and has recorded three wins. Jenny Walling / LTN Photo
The Carolina Trust Easter Baseball Tournament will feature the four county schools. The North Lincoln Knights, West Lincoln Rebels, East Lincoln Mustangs and the host Lincolnton Wolves.
The tournament, sponsored by Pepsi, Lincoln Athletics and Carolina Trust Bank, will get underway as soon as the weather cooperates.
Wolves head coach Bobby Martin believes it will be a great opportunity for fans regardless of their school allegiance.
â€œIt will be a good showcase for all of the baseball talent in Lincoln County and theyâ€™ll all be in one place,â€ he said.
Lincolnton, 8-7 overall and 5-3 in the Midwest 2A Conference, has won six of their last eight games with the two losses coming in difficult fashion to Midwest 2A Conference leader East Rutherford and county rival West Lincoln.
Martin feels his team needs to focus on the here-and-now, not past events.
â€œThose things are in the past. You have to shake those things off and go about your business. The most important game youâ€™re going to play is your next one,â€ he said.
The first game of the tournament, at 5 p.m., will feature the Rebels against the Mustangs. Both teams put together impressive games of late. West defeated Lincolnton in a 9-inning affair on Thursday. The Mustangs beat the South Point Red Raiders 6-1 last week.
The Rebels are 10-6, 4-4 in the MW2A on the season. The Mustangs are 3-12, 2-6 in the Big South 3A on the year.
The Wolves will play North Lincoln in the second game of the tournament at 7 p.m.
â€œWeâ€™ve already played them one time and all the kids know each other. Itâ€™s non-conference, so we can relax and play and hopefully we can get ourselves back on the beam by doing that,â€ Martin said.
North Lincoln head coach Sean Andrews believes the tournament will be a good opportunity for his young team.
â€œWeâ€™re going to go into it and just kind of take it as a regular season game. Weâ€™ll go at it hardcore and give it everything we got,â€ Andrews said.
The Knights are 4-11, 1-6 in the Southern Foothills 1A Conference.
The winner of the Mustangs/Rebelsâ€™ game and Wolves/Knightsâ€™ game will play in the championship game at 7 p.m. on the second day of the tournament. The consolation game will take place at 5 p.m.
Due to the inclement weather, the start of the tournament is up in the air. Lincolnton athletic director Scott Cloninger calls the tournament â€˜day-to-day.â€™
â€œWe will get it in at some point this week. We just donâ€™t know what days it will take place on,â€ Cloninger said.
One belief is widespread, expressed by Cloninger.
â€œWe think itâ€™s a big tournament. Itâ€™s the first time all four schools have been together in our county and weâ€™re going to find a true Lincoln County champion,â€ he said.by John Mark Brooks