The tone for Friday night`s game between the Wolves of Lincolnton and the Shelby Golden Lions was set on the very first pitch.
Centerfielder Garrett Alexander drove freshman pitcher Nate Wright`s first offering deep over the left field fence to give the Golden Lions a lead they would not relinquish en route to a 13-5 victory at Jonathan Brookins Field.
Shelby added another run in the first, and one in the second to take a 3-0 lead. The Wolves answered with a run in the bottom half of the second when Jeff Hurt scored on Kenny Reed`s sacrifice fly to close the gap to 3-1.
The Golden Lions, however, put three more on the board in the third on RBI singles by Alex Wilson and Darryl Montgomery, and a bases loaded balk to take a 6-1 lead.
The Wolves only real threat to get back in the game came in the sixth inning. Trailing 8-1, Will Fox led off the inning with a single.
After a pair of strikeouts, Kyle Snyder reached on an infield error. Reed`s single drove in Fox to make the score 8-2. Dustin Weaver`s two RBI double scored Snyder and Reed and the Wolves had cut the Shelby lead to 8-4.
The Golden Lions offense came to life again in the top of the seventh. Shelby pushed across five more runs to put the game out of reach as Lincolnton pitching gave up three walks and two hit batsmen in the inning. Four of those five came in to score for the Golden Lions.
Lincolnton`s final run came in the bottom of the seventh as Matt Kuster scored when Hurt`s ground ball was misplayed by the Shelby second baseman. One batter later, however, the game ended when Wright grounded into a double play.
With the loss, the Wolves fall to 6-6 in the Midwest 2A, 10-9 overall, and into a three way tie for third place with Shelby and West Lincoln. Shelby improves to 7-12 overall and 6-6 in conference play as well.
The Wolves will close out the regular season this week with a home game tonight against conference co-leader Bandys, and on the road Thursday night at East Rutherford, the conference`s other co-leader.
Leading hitters for Shelby were: Garrett Anderson who went 2-for-3 with a homerun. Darryl Montgomery, Alex Wilson and Brett Wease went 2-for-4.
Shane Brackett led the Wolves with a 2-for-3 performance, while Weaver went 2-for-4.
Shelby 213 020 5â€”13
Lincolnton 010 003 1â€”5
by David Keever