Justin Keever settled down after a rocky first inning and pitched a complete game to lead the Lincolnton Wolves to a 7-3 victory over the Shelby Golden Lions at Veterans Field Friday night.
The Golden Lions jumped ahead of the Wolves early, scoring two runs in the bottom of the first. Jacob Wallaces` lead off single followed by a double off the bat Matt Strickland gave Shelby a 1-0 lead. Two batters later, Strickland scored on Matt Raines` ground out to first giving the Lions a 2-0 lead.
Lincolnton got on the board in the second inning as Evan Wise scored when Brian Ebert reached on an infield error. Wise reached on a single to lead off the inning, and the Wolves pulled to within one. A leadoff homerun off the bat of Wise in the top half of the fourth tied the game at two.
In the Wolves half of the fifth inning, Shelby pitcher Bronson Smith seemed to be losing his control. Colby Burgin, Keever and Will Fox reached on consecutive walks to begin the inning. Bradley Dalrymple then doubled deep to center field driving in all three base runners giving Lincolnton a 5-2 edge.
The Golden Lions scored once in the bottom of the fifth, but the Wolves answered right back in their next at bat. Jeffery Hurt, Ebert and Keever all had hits in the sixth as two more Lincolnton runs scored.
Keever pitched seven strong innings after giving up hits to the first two batters he faced. He only yielded two more Shelby hits for the entire game, none after the fourth inning, and had four strikeouts.
Keever also led the Wolves at the plate, going 3 for 3 with a walk. Justin Green and Wise each had two hits for Lincolnton, including the homer by Wise.
For the Wolves(15-7, 9-3), the victory was their seventh consecutive, keeping them in second place in the Midwest 2A. The Golden Lions fall to 3-10 in conference play, and 3-22 overall.
Lincolnton will wrap up the regular season this week as the travel to Bandys on Tuesday, and host conference leader East Rutherford on Thursday.
Lincolnton 010 131 0 – 7
Shelby 200 010 0 – 3
L: Keever and Wise. S: Smith, Price(6) and Cox.by David Keever