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Alexander lifts East Lincoln to victory

The East Lincoln Mustangs took an early 4-0 lead in the bottom of the second inning and cruised to an 8-1 victory over North Lincoln Thursday night.
A big reason for their comfortable win was Seth Alexander (3-1). The right-hander threw a complete-game three-hitter while striking out five. He also walked five.
Kyle Baker suffered the loss, working three innings, allowing four hits and four earned runs.
It was a big day for Mustangs’ freshman leadoff man, Jesse Guice. Guice went 2-for-3 with two doubles, a walk, RBI and scored two runs.
East Lincoln’s head coach Matt Neville said he’s come to expect such play.
“He’s (Jesse’s) just been strong all season. As a ninth-grader, you would never expect to get the quality of play as he’s demonstrated all year. Not only did he do it at the plate, but he also had three great plays in the field,” he said.
“He’s very professional. The mentality he has as a ninth-grader is one you would want to see in a senior,” Neville added.
Junior Greyson Schram went 1-for-3 with a two-RBI double to his credit, along with a run scored.
Jesse Cadenhead (0-for-1) had a sacrifice, two RBIs and two walks. T.J. Chapman went 1-for-3 two RBIs.
Chris Hogue was responsible for the lone Knights’ run of the game with a RBI-double.
Alex Loftin, Trent Hopkins, and Josh Belk singled rounding out the Knights’ hit total.
The Mustangs improve to 11-8, 5-4 in the Big South 3A Conference with the win.
Neville was happy to send his seniors out with a win versus North.
“It’s good for us to beat a Lincoln County rival and probably our biggest rival. It’s a good way to send our seniors out versus North Lincoln in their career,” he said.
“It helps add momentum moving into the grind of finishing up conference play,” he added.
Knights’ head coach Sean Andrews feels one play, in particular, was key in the game.
“We came out and he walked a couple in the first, but he got a strikeout. Then Cadenhead (Jesse) caught Alex (Loftin) trying to steal,” he said.
“After that, we were just flat. That took away some of our momentum. We had a big week with conference and a late night the night before. It was just a long week,” Andrews added.
For Alexander, who has battled through an injury-plagued season, the win served notice he’s regaining his full strength.
“We’ve been bringing him along slow, so this was a big outing for Seth. This was the first time he was able to throw for an extended period and we’re hoping it’s going to help us out in our last five conference games,” Neville said.
Andrews credited a double-squeeze play as another play that deflated his team.
“They played good defense and they came out with a fury. They wanted the game and Neville (Matt) pulled a double squeeze on us. That took the air out of our balloon and at that point it was 4-0 in the second and we just couldn’t come back from that,” he said.

North Lincoln 000 100 0—1 4 0
East Lincoln 041 300 x—8 7 1

by John Mark Brooks

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