By DAVID KEEVER
VALE –– Chandler Jenkins, Kenny Stevens and Alec Johnson’s combined pitching effort was enough to shut out the Wolves Tuesday night as the Rebels won their conference opener 5-0 at West Lincoln.
Of Lincolnton’s seven base runners in the game, four got as far as third base. But each time, the Rebels’ pitching got the big out to thwart any threat that the Wolves tried to mount.
After Lincolnton left runners at first and third in the top of the first, West Lincoln took the lead in the home-half of the inning. Jenkins followed Johnson’s one out triple with an RBI double to give the Rebels a 1-0 lead.
West added two more in the second. Following a walk to Mack George and a single from Jake Bradley, Tommy Garwood’s triple gave the Rebels a 3-0 lead.
Garwood and Cody Dellinger each delivered run-scoring singles in the fourth inning to extend West Lincoln’s lead to 5-0. George and Lucas Brown also had hits in the inning.
Jenkins, making his first start of the season on the mound, struck out eleven Lincolnton batters in just 4 2/3 innings of work. In fact, West Lincoln pitching recorded 15 strikeouts of the Wolves’ 21 outs.
“He’s always been a strikeout pitcher,” said West Lincoln head coach Allen Chapman. “He didn’t have his best command, but he threw more strikes than balls.”
While Jenkins was recording outs, Garwood was delivering the offense for the Rebels. Garwood was 2 for 2 at the plate with a triple and three RBIs from the number nine spot in the batting order.
“Tommy had his best game,” said Chapman, “and that’s good for him because he had to sit a lot last year.”
The win for the Rebels was their first of the season following two non-conference losses. “The big thing is that it’s a conference win,” Chapman noted. “And it was a big win with it being Lincolnton.”
With the loss, the Wolves fell to 0-3 on the season, and 0-1 in the Southern District 7 Athletic 2A Conference. Lincolnton will travel to East Lincoln on Friday night.
West Lincoln is scheduled to be back in action today, when it hosts North Lincoln in a non-conference game at 4:30, weather permitting.