East Rutherford beat West Lincoln 9-3 Friday behind a huge day from Zeke Branton.
Branton went 2-for-4 with two homers, had three RBIs and three runs scored in the Cavaliers victory.
Michael Melton worked six innings, struck out six and walked only one in earning the win. The losing pitcher was Chris Henderson (2-1), who pitched one and a third, struck out one, walked one, but gave up five unearned runs.
Melton also went 2-for-4 along with teammate Parker Tate. Chase Harbinson paced the Rebels, going 2-for-3 with a homer & two RBIs. Paul Finger and Payden Houser both doubled.
The Rebels committed three errors which led to six unearned runs, something West Lincoln head coach Allan Chapman knows they canâ€™t do if they expect to be successful.
â€œNo, not when you play good teams like that. You canâ€™t give them runs and we did,â€ he said. â€œWhen we dropped the third strike, it kind of dropped our morale a little bit, because we had them one, two three. We ended up giving up three runs in an inning where we got them one, two three,â€ Chapman said of the first inning mini-debacle.
West Lincoln (4-2) will host South Iredell Tuesday in the Southern Piedmont Conference opener.
â€œWe want to get started on the right foot. We have no idea what to expect from South Iredell and that makes it a little scary,â€ Chapman said. â€œBut hopefully, we can pitch it well and catch it and give ourselves a chance,â€ he added.
by John Mark Brooks