It took two extra innings and a timely home run by Bryan Seymour but the North Lincoln Knights varsity baseball team pulled off a 5-4 upset of the East Lincoln Mustangs on Friday.
“I never in a million years thought it would end like that,” North Lincoln head coach Jon Carpenter said. “But I think most of the kids in the dugout knew it was gone right off of the bat.”
The Knights held a 4-3 lead after the top of the sixth but the Mustangs knotted the game at 4-4. Seymour hit a solo shot in the top of the ninth and pitcher Justin Norton closed out the game from the mound to give North Lincoln its fifth consecutive Southern Piedmont 1A/2A Conference victory.
North Lincoln (7-10, 5-4 SPC) avenged a 14-0 defeated at the hands of the Mustangs on Mar. 12 with the win. The loss put East Lincoln (10-7, 6-3) two games behind first-place West Lincoln in the SPC standings and in a second-place tie with Cherryville.
Zach Reeder, Jimmy Scott and Norton led North Lincoln at the plate with two hits each. Norton added two RBIs.
Norton gave up one run on two hits and struck out seven with two walks in five innings of relief work. Freshman Paul Cochrane started the game for the Knights and gave up four hits and one earned run with two strikeouts in four innings.
Carpenter said the Knights have been steadily improving as the regular season winds down.
“The past couple of years it’s been a while getting to this point, and I wish it would have come sooner, but I think we’re coming around now,” he said. “It’s taken a while to get a little chemistry. A lot of people were filling one or two roles but now we’re getting to one role for each person. That’s worked out a little bit better.”