The North Lincoln Knights snapped a four-game losing streak in a big way Tuesday, pounding Highland Tech 13-2.
Kyle Baker was the gameâ€™s star, performing on the mound and at the plate. Baker pitched a complete game, struck out 10 and only allowed one walk. With the bat, he went 3-for-4 with a triple, stolen base and two RBIs.
Sophomore Trent Hopkins went 2-for-4 with three RBIs and turned in a sensational diving defensive play at first. Hopkins also had two stolen bases and two doubles. Alex Loftin was 2-for-4 with two RBIs and two runs scored.
Other leading hitters for the Knights were: Michael Gibson who went 2-for-3 with a stolen base and a run and Ryan Pendleton who went 2-for-2 with a walk.
North Lincoln head coach Sean Andrews was proud of his team and also feels the win saved him at home.
â€œIt was just a big win, breaking a losing streak and its gets us to .500 in conference. And it gets my girls (Arin and Alexis) at home off my back because they told me they were going to start pinching me if we didnâ€™t start winning,â€ he said.
Losing pitcher was Matt King, who worked five innings and gave up five earned.
Andrews felt Bakerâ€™s success mainly stemmed from him doing a good job locating his pitches.
â€œWhen he struck out two in the first inning and struck out two in the second, I could tell he was hitting his spots. I could tell he made an adjustment from his previous game against Kings Mountain.. There was a lot of times he wasnâ€™t really trying to overpower anybody and just getting them to put the ball in play,â€ he said.
The 17 hits was the most North Lincoln has recorded in their two years of existence.
â€œTo come out and hit 17 was good. Theyâ€™re not the best team in the conference, but they had eight hits and they didnâ€™t back down,â€ he said.
Andrews believes the win was much-needed after dropping two in the Easter Tournament at Lincolnton High School.
â€œYou get that out of the way and from a morale standpoint youâ€™re going into Polk Co. with a win and we feel we can hang with anybody. I know we canâ€”Iâ€™ve been trying to get these kids to believe it all year,â€ he said.
North is now 2-9 on the season with a 1-1 Southern Foothills 1A Conference Record.
North Lincoln 005 114 2â€”13 17 2
H. Tech 000 002 xâ€”2 8 5
East Lincoln softball
The East Lincoln Lady Mustangs beat Lincolnton 10-6 on Monday.
Sonny Marthers, Amber Stevens and Alexis Rogers pitched for the Mustangs. Marthers left after four innings with a 6-3 lead. Rogers closed it out for East.
Junior leadoff hitter Shenna Stansil went 3-for-3 at the plate with a sacrifice and also scored two runs. Senior Amanda McPherson went 3-for-3, had a sacrifice and also scored three runs. Sophomore Peyton Pressley went 2-for-3 with a sacrifice and four RBIs.
East Lincoln fell to Hunter Huss 3-2 on Tuesday.
In the JV game against Lincolnton, as part of a JV/Varsity doubleheader, East Lincoln won 11-1.
Dana Griffin pitched a complete game and catcher Lindy Hyde hit her first homerun of the season.
by John Mark Brooks