The West Lincoln Rebels are off to a quick 2-0 start after beating Maiden Monday and Fred T. Foard.
Junior Ryan Rhodes and Trent Rothlin, a Clemson-signee engaged in a pitching duel that will be remembered for quite some time.
Rhodes threw all nine innings, struck out eight batters, walked five and allowed just two hits in the Rebels 1-0 extra inning victory Tuesday.
Rothlin threw perfect baseball, pitching seven innings and striking out 13 batters before exiting the game.
â€œI donâ€™t know if Iâ€™ve ever had a performance like that,â€ Rebels head coach Allan Chapman said of Rhodesâ€™ performance. â€œHe fought through the first three innings of not having his best stuff, but still found ways to get outs,â€ he added.
What was just as impressive as Rhodesâ€™ masterful game, was the fierce competitive spirit he exhibited when Chapman approached the mound prior to the seventh inning.
â€œWe were actually taking him out, but he just demanded the ball. Then in the eighth inning, he demanded to stay in the game,â€ Chapman said. â€œThatâ€™s probably what Iâ€™m proud of the mostâ€”the character and heart he showed,â€ he added.
In the bottom of the ninth, James Pearson, a senior pinch hitter, singled to right.
Team baseball did the rest. Jonathan Thomasâ€™ sacrifice bunt advanced Pearson before a Korey Martin grounder moved him to third.
After an intentional walk to Payden Houser, senior captain Paul Finger lined the first pitch into right field for the game-winner.
The Rebels downed Maiden 13-5 on the strength of Chris Hendersonâ€™s pitching and hitting.
Henderson, a senior, threw five innings, struck out five, allowed four walks and just two earned runs in recording his first victory of the season.
At the plate, he went 2-for-3 with one RBI. Other leading hitters were: Jake Watts 2-for-5 with three RBIs, Payden Houser 2-for-3 with a double and Paul Finger who went 1-for-2 with two walks and four runs scored.
In the second inning, Watts, just a sophomore, hit a ground-rule two-RBI double with the bases loaded.
â€œHeâ€™s gotten a lot stronger from last year. Heâ€™s really driving the ball well. Even when he gets out, heâ€™s hitting the ball hard or hitting fly balls pretty deep,â€ Chapman said.
Houser, who earned the save, worked two innings, surrendering no hits and striking out two.
â€œI thought it was important to get started off on the right foot. We swung the bat pretty well and played pretty good defense,â€ Chapman said.
Snyder earns first win
Limestone freshman Kyle Snyder picked up his first collegiate win of his career in a 5-4 over Rockingham.
Synder, a southpaw and former Lincolnton Wolves standout, worked five innings, had seven strikeouts and walked three.
While Snyder is expected to pitch on the varsity level at some point in his collegiate career, heâ€™s honing his skills on the JV level.
Mustangs continue to thrive for CVCC
Former East Lincoln Mustangs Josh Davis and Carlos Marquez Sykes have seen significant minutes for the CVCC.
Davis scored six points and snatched three rebounds, while Sykes also had six points and grabbed four boards for the Buccaneers. Former West Lincoln standout Matt Edwards had five rebounds in their lopsided win over Caldwell.
In the final NJCAA poll, the Bucs were ranked No. 11 in the country.
by John Mark Brooks