Despite playing without standout junior Trent Hopkins, North Lincoln improved to 5-0 on the season with a 5-3 victory over Lake Norman.
Hopkins, who sustained a nasty gash to the top of his head after hitting it on a dip bar, had to get approximately 12 stitches, forcing him out of Mondayâ€™s lineup.
Fortunately, for the Knights faithful, his replacement senior Chris Hogue was more than up to the task, batting clean-up with a 2-for-4 performance with two RBIs.
â€œI think they took into consideration what we did to them last week and they came out ready to go,â€ Knights head coach Sean Andrews said.
Andrews was pleased with Hogueâ€™s play, but not just in Mondayâ€™s gameâ€”heâ€™s been pleased with his level of play through the first five games.
â€œAt this point, heâ€™s my greatest surprise. I knew he had this in him all alongâ€”it was just a matter of getting it out of him,â€ he said. â€œHeâ€™s playing with confidence and got us some runs when we needed them,â€ he added.
Kyle Baker went 2-for-3 in the win.
Aaron Price, who worked an inning and a third, gave up just one hit. Price came in with the bases loaded and two outs in the bottom of the third and only allowed one run.
Senior Alex Loftin threw two innings, surrendered no hits and had two strikeouts. It was Loftinâ€™s first save of the season.
â€œAaron and Alex came in and did a great job. Aaron entered in a sticky situation and bailed us out of it,â€ Andrews said.
Garrett Branch, who struck out seven in a complete game performance and gave up two walks, suffered the loss.
North Lincoln will host Bunker Hill today.
by John Mark Brooks