Poor defensive play once again spelled doom for the Wolves as the fell to the Golden Lions 11-10 Tuesday night at Veterans Field in Shelby.
Lincolnton committed six errors on the night, all of them proving costly, as the Golden Lions picked up their second Midwest 2A victory of the season.
Shelby jumped to an early lead. Following a pair of Lincolnton errors mixed in with a Brett Wease single and an RBI sacrifice fly by Will Carswell, the Golden Lions led 3-0 after an inning.
The Wolves stormed back. RBI singles by Will Fox and Shane Brackett tied the game at three all in the third inning. Lincolnton added four more runs in the fourth. Jeffery Hurt, Nate Wright, Dustin Weaver and Matt Kuster all had hits in the four run fourth, giving the Wolves a 7-4 lead.
However, the Wolves defensive woes continued. Two errors in each the bottom half of the fourth and fifth innings gave the Golden Lions all the opportunities that they would need. Shelby would score three in their half of the fourth, and five more in the fifth to take an 11-7 advantage.
Lincolnton gave a gallant effort in the seventh to try and pull out the road victory despite all the poor defensive play. Kenny Reed reached to lead off the inning on a throwing error by the Shelby catcher on the third strike. Back to back singles by Wright and Weaver pulled the Wolves to within three at 11-8.
Fox reached on a fielderâ€™s choice and Brackett was hit by a pitch loading the bases for the Wolves with two outs. Kuster then delivered a sharp single to left that scored Wright and Fox. Brackett, however, was thrown out trying to get to third base by the catcher following a throw to the plate to end the game.
With the loss, the Wolves fall to 3-2 in Midwest 2A conference play and 7-5 overall. Shelby improves to 2-3 in the conference and 3-8 overall. Lincolnton next plays Friday night at Bandys. Game time is 7 p.m.
Wolvesâ€™ head coach Cole Sigmon was very disappointed by his teamâ€™s sloppy defensive play.
â€œIt was one of those games where the team that made the dumbest mistake lost. You would think a team with nine seniors would not make so many mistakes,â€ he said.
â€œThey got 11 runs and only two of them were earned,â€ Sigmon added.
One positive Sigmon was able to draw from the loss was how many hits the Wolves had.
â€œWe did hit it (11 hits). I had two guys with three hits,â€ he said.
Senior Matt Kuster went 3-for-4 with four RBIs, while Weaver also was 3-for-4 with two RBIs.
On the mound, Weaver, who won during the Easter Tournament, picked up his first loss of the season. He is now 4-1. He worked four innings, allowed six hits and two earned runs.
Sigmon is hoping to turn things around defensively against undefeated Bandys on Friday.
â€œA win will get the bad taste out of my mouth, but we got to play better. The last two games weâ€™ve made 12 errors and itâ€™s all mental. Mentally we have to get better.â€
Lincolnton 003 400 3â€”10 11 6
Shelby 300 350 xâ€”11 9 3
Leading hitters: Linc.- Matt Kuster 3-for-4, Dustin Weaver 3-for-4, Shane Brackett 2-for-3, Nate Wright 2-for-4. Shelby- Will Carswell 2-for-3, Brett Wease 2-for-4.
by David Keever