County teams drop opener
Five runs scored in the final two innings couldnâ€™t save North Lincoln from a 14-8 loss at Cherryville Tuesday in the Southern Foothills 1A slugfest of a conference opener.
The Ironmen built an 11-2 lead, through four innings, before North Lincoln tried to mount a comeback.
Jared Fuller went 2-for-4 for the Ironmen with a homerun and two RBIs, Steven Hoyle also went 2-for-4 with three RBIs. Jeremy Craft and Tyler Beam both went 2-for-4, with Craft scoring three runs and Beam one.
Cherryvilleâ€™s Anthony Miranda earned the win, pitching five innings, striking out two and allowing five earned runs. T.J. Skidmore suffered the loss, pitching three innings allowing six earned runs.
Trent Hopkins, Alex Loftin and Kyle Baker were 2-for-4. Loftin and Baker each had a RBI.
Knightsâ€™ head coach Sean Andrews felt one play, in particular, went a long way in determining the outcome of the game.
â€œWe came out being aggressive. They came out in the first and put the ball in play. We made a couple of mistakes and it cost us. We had a double play opportunity on the second batter and didnâ€™t take advantage of it and it cost us,â€ he said.
Andrews was encouraged by his team not giving up once they got down 11-1.
â€œWe showed we can battle back from a deficit. It showed more resilience than we did in the beginning of the year against West Caldwell,â€ he said.
The Knights are now 1-5, 0-1 in the SF 1A.
North Lincoln 200 041 1â€”8 14 2
Cherryville 520 412 xâ€”14 12 4
The East Lincoln Mustangs matched Ashbrook in every statistical category, except in the field.
The Mustangs made seven errors derailing another solid pitching outing by southpaw Mitchell Lynch. Lynch (3-2) pitched four innings, allowing only one earned run while striking out five.
His defense, however, committed five errors that allowed the Green Wave to take a 3-0 lead.
Shortstop Andrew Martin, a N.C. State signee hit two homeruns, had two walks and two RBIs to lead the Green Wave.
Leading hitters for the Mustangs were: Greyson Schram who went 1-for-2 and was hit by a pitch, T.J. Chapman who went 2-for-3, Jake Black who went 1-for-2 with a RBI-double and walked and Russell Mahaffey who went 1-for-3.
Mustangsâ€™ head coach Matt Neville was pleased with how his team played versus the Green Wave, who are back-to-back Big South 3A Champions. He was particularly pleased with Lynch, who followed up a no-hit performance through five innings against North Lincoln with another solid showing.
“Mitchell pitched a great game. However, the
inability of the defense was the deciding factor in
tonight`s loss,” he said.
“We had the same amount of hits, one more strikeout,
but defensively we have to get to their level,” he added.
Neville felt it was a good match on the diamond and feels his team is still learning.
“I`m encouraged because I know we can play with the
best, but we got to learn how to win against the
best,” he said.
The Mustangs are 4-4 on the season with an 0-1 mark in the Big South 3A Conference.
Friday they will host Forestview, if weather permits.
East Lincoln 200 010 2â€”3 5 7
Ashbrook 021 023 xâ€”8 5 1
by John Mark Brooks