By DAVID KEEVER
Dayton Pfenning pitched seven strong innings, allowing two runs on just five hits in Lincolnton’s regular season baseball finale at home on Friday night. But it wasn’t enough.
The Wolves’ offense could only manage to produce one run off West Caldwell’s Trey Harper in a 2-1 Southern District 7 Athletic 2A Conference loss.
In fact, the only Lincolnton run was unearned, came in the first and gave the Wolves a 1-0 lead. Pfenning reached on an infield error and then came around to score on Bradley Franklin’s two-out RBI double.
Franklin’s hit was one of only two that Lincolnton managed off Harper. The Warriors right-hander struck out nine, walked one and hit one.
Harper retired 18 of the final 22 he faced.
West Caldwell tied the game in the fourth. Jacob Dunn walked to lead off the inning and scored when Harper’s single got past the Lincolnton centerfielder.
The Warriors (11-11, 9-5) took the lead the very next inning when Jay Denny drew a one-out walk, advanced to second on a Dylan West sacrifice bunt, and scored on Trevor Beane’s RBI single.
The Wolves threatened in the sixth and seventh innings, but left the tying run at second in each.
“(Pfenning) did exactly what we wanted,” Lincolnton head coach Cole Sigmon said. “He kept us in the game. His location was good.”
Dunn (single), West (triple) and Chase Bowman (single) had the other three Warriors hits, while J.T Bowden had a single for Lincolnton.
The Wolves ended the regular season with a 3-15 overall mark and went 3-11 in conference play.
“This year I thought we were in a lot more games than in the past two,” said Sigmon, when asked to recap his team’s season. “Towards the end of the year, we were better.”
Lincolnton finished tied with Newton-Conover for the seventh seed heading into this week’s SD-7 tournament, but will receive the eighth seed with the tiebreaker and travel to No. 1 Bunker Hill on Tuesday.
West Caldwell finished fourth, and will host No. 5 West Lincoln.