Down to its last out, North Lincoln found a way to play on.
The fifth-seeded Knights rallied from behind in the seventh inning Monday and defeated host West Iredell 5-4 to advance to today’s semifinals of the North Piedmont 3A/4A Conference baseball tournament.
North Lincoln (12-11-1) is the host school for the semifinals and finals, and will face top-seeded Alexander Central today at 7 p.m. The finals will be held at 7 p.m. on Thursday.
Ty Pauley’s bloop single with two outs scored the game-tying run, and Bryan Seymour doubled home Pauley for the go-ahead run.
West Iredell had a pair of singles in the home-half of the seventh, but Knights starter Mitchell Keener induced a game-ending groundout.
Brady Drennen (2-for-3, double, two RBIs), Pauley (1-for-3, RBI), Seymour (1-for-4, RBI) and T.J. Carswell (1-for-2, RBI) led the Knights. Keener gave up four runs, none earned, on nine hits, waked two and struck out two.
SD-7 BASEBALL TOURNAMENT
EAST LINCOLN 9, BANDYS 3: At East Lincoln, the third-seeded Mustangs rolled to a Southern District 7 Athletic 2A Conference tournament opening-round win on Tuesday.
Chris Cox picked up the pitching win. The Mustangs (12-12) face seventh-seeded Newton-Conover in the semifinals at 5 p.m. on Thursday at Hickory’s Legion Fairgrounds.
WEST CALDWELL 3, WEST LINCOLN 2: At West Caldwell, a passed ball with the bases loaded lifted the fourth-seeded Warriors into the semifinals of the SD-7 tournament.
Charles Mack George had a two-run double for the Rebels in the fifth.
West Caldwell (12-11) will face top-seeded Bunker Hill at 7 p.m. on Thursday. West Lincoln (9-14-1) will have to wait for next week’s state playoffs pairings to see if its season continues.
BUNKER HILL 5, LINCOLNTON 2: At Bunker Hill, the Wolves had their season come to a close in the first round of the conference tournament. No other details were reported.
Top-seeded Bunker Hill (18-5) will face West Caldwell in the semifinals. Lincolnton ends its season at 4-16.
NP3A/4A SOFTBALL TOURNAMENT
LAKE NORMAN 6, NORTH LINCOLN 1: At Alexander Central, the second-seeded Knights were eliminated in the semifinals of the league tournament.
Sidney Russel (single, RBI), Hollyn Franklin (single), Courtney Trickle (single), Peyton Wilson (double) and Shauna Griffin (single) made up North Lincoln’s five hits. Sydney Ditto hit a three-run home run in the top of the seventh for the third-seeded Wildcats, who will face Alexander Central at 6 p.m. on Thursday for the title. Franklin gave up three runs, one earned, on three hits, walked two and struck out four in five innings in the loss.
The Knights defeated South Iredell 6-1 in Monday’s first round.
SD-7 SOFTBALL TOURNAMENT
BUNKER HILL 12, LINCOLNTON 2, 5 INN.: At Betty G. Ross Park, the Wolves had their season draw to a close with a first round defeat in the conference tournament.
Courtney Campbell had a two-run double, and Allison Brown, Laken Homesley and Ashley Duncan had singles for the Wolves. Campbell suffered the pitching loss.
“We did not live up to the potential of our athletic ability,” said Lincolnton coach Patricia Anderson, whose team finished the year 5-13. “We had some excellent talent but unfortunately didn’t put it together.”
WEST LINCOLN 13, WEST CALDWELL 3, 5 INN.: At Betty G. Ross Park, the top-seeded Rebels advanced to the semifinals of the conference tournament. No other details were reported.
West Lincoln (18-3) will face fourth-seeded East Lincoln at 5 p.m. Thursday in the semifinals at Betty G. Ross Park.
LINCOLN CHARTER FINISHES THIRD IN REGIONALS: The Eagles shot a 341 and finished third in the 1A West regionals to earn their first trip to the state tournament at Linville County Club.
Evan Cook shot a 77 to tie for second place. The top three teams were Avery County (330), Pine Lake Prep (337) and Lincoln Charter. The top three teams, plus the top three individuals not on a qualifying team, qualify for next week’s state championships.
Other eagles team members are Evan Brown, Harrison Hall, Justin Morgan, Nick Stroupe, Colin Ray and Jesse Robinson.
The 36-hole 1A state championships will be held Monday and Tuesday at Whispering Pines Country Club in Whispering Pines.
EAST LINCOLN 2, BANDYS 0: At Bandys, the Mustangs defeated the Trojans Monday to stay tied atop the SD-7 with Newton-Conover. No other details were reported.
East Lincoln (16-5-1, 12-1-0) travels to Lincolnton today in its regular season finale.
LINCOLNTON 5, WEST LINCOLN 0: At West Lincoln, the Wolves picked up a SD-7 win. No other details were reported.
Lincolnton (5-12-1, 3-9-1) hosts East Lincoln today in its season finale. West Lincoln (0-18, 0-12) travels to Bunker Hill today and wraps up its season at Bandys on Thursday.