VALE –– Kenny Stevens went the distance on the mound Friday night as West Lincoln defeated Newton-Conover, 3-2, in a key Southern District 7 Athletic 2A contest.
A misplayed fly ball off the bat of Charles Mack George with two outs in the bottom of the seventh inning scored Chandler Jenkins, giving the Rebels the walk-off win.
West Lincoln took the lead in the bottom of the first on Jenkins’ double in the gap that scored Cody Dellinger. Dellinger reached on a base on balls to start the inning.
The Red Devils answered with a pair of runs in the top of the second. Logan Hamlet drove in Kyle Hall with a sacrifice fly to get the Red Devils on the board. Hall reached on a one-out single, and moved to third on an infield error and a wild pitch.
Austin Barlow’s run-scoring single with two outs then pushed Alex Mentzer across to give Newton-Conover a 2-1 advantage.
The score remained 2-1 until the home-half of the sixth, even though both teams had opportunities.
George led off the Rebels’ sixth with a double in the gap, and later scored the tying run on an infield error, setting up the dramatic win in the seventh.
Errors plagued the Red Devils all night, riding a five-game winning streak coming into the game. Newton-Conover committed a total of six errors in the game, including miscues that allowed both the game-tying and game-winning runs to score.
Jenkins was the only player to have multiple hits, going 2-for-3 with an intentional walk. He also reached on a third strike wild pitch in the seventh, which turned out to be the winning run.
“Chandler had a good week,” West Lincoln head coach Allan Chapman said. “At one stretch, he had nine straight hits.”
Stevens had a solid outing for the Rebels, allowing just two runs on five hits, while striking out seven and walking just three.
“Kenny threw great,” Chapman said. “He’s done that quite a bit for us all year.”
With the victory, West Lincoln improved to 8-8 overall, and 5-5 in conference play. The win came over a team that had been hot as of late.
“They had just beat (third- and fourth-place teams) Maiden and West Caldwell,” noted Chapman after his team’s victory.
The Rebels face a critical conference schedule this week, while seeking a playoff berth. They travel to West Caldwell on Tuesday and host Maiden on Thursday, two opponents that defeated them the first time around.