PUMPKIN CENTER — The Bessemer City Yellow Jackets overcame a 2-0 deficit to take a 4-2 victory over the North Lincoln Knights varsity baseball team in 11 innings on Friday in both teams’ Southern Piedmont 1A/2A Conference opener.
North Lincoln scored a pair of runs in the bottom of the fifth to take a 2-0 lead but Bessemer City knotted the score at 2-2 with two runs in the top of the sixth.
The Yellow Jackets scored twice in the top of the 11th and stifled North Lincoln’s offense in the bottom of the 11th to take the win.
North Lincoln senior right-hander Justin Norton started on the mound for the Knights and threw five complete innings with 10 strikeouts, no hits, no runs and two walks.
The Yellow Jackets picked up their first two runs off left-handed reliever Trevor Drennon. Drennon gave up one hit and two walks in his single inning of relief work. Right-hander Zach Avery pitched in the eighth and gave up two walks with one strikeout. Right-hander Bryan Seymour pitched the final four innings with six strikeouts, three walks and two hits.
North Lincoln catcher Ty Pauley hit a one-out double to centerfield in the bottom of the fifth to set up the Knights’ first two runs. Aaron Studdard was hit by a pitch and Norton drew a walk from Bessemer City right hander Hunter Stinnett to load the bases before Seymour’s double to left field scored Pauley and Studdard. Jimmy Scott struck out for the second out of the inning and, after an intentional walk to pinch hitter Jacob Osenbaugh, T.J. Carswell grounded out to second to end the inning with the bases loaded.
Davis Gibby drew a walk from Drennon to lead off the top of the sixth and moved to second on a sacrifice bunt by Jha’Qui Adams. Gibby moved to third on a groundout to second by Stephen Clark and, after a walk to Damian Scott, scored on a single to left field by Stinnett.
Bessemer City scored the equalizer when the Knights attempted to pick off Stinnett as he stole second with Scott on third.
The Knights threatened to close out the game in the bottom of the seventh. Studdard reached first on a throwing error by Bessemer City short stop Scott and Seymour’s one-out bunt was misplayed by Stinnett to put runners on first and second for the Knights. But North Lincoln’s Scott popped out to second and Clayton Gannaway struck out to end the inning.
Bessemer City opened the bottom of the 11th with a leadoff walk to Scott. Stinnett’s single to left field put runners at the corners. North Lincoln attempted to pick off Scott at third but the throw sailed into left field, allowing the run to score. A single up the middle by Tyler Swift gave the Yellow Jackets a 4-2 cushion.
Seymour struck out Addison Stinnett for the first out of the inning, Demetrius Adams hit a fielder’s choice to short stop and Jacob Withers struck out to end the inning.
North Lincoln’s Carson Jackson struck out to lead off the bottom of the 11th. Drennon grounded out to short stop and Studdard popped out to second to end the game.
North Lincoln resumes Southern Piedmont Conference play at home against East Lincoln on Tuesday.