Lincoln County defeated Area IV Eastern Division leader Mint Hill Thursday night 5-3 at East Lincoln High School.
The theme of the night was clutch pitching from Josh Allen, Jackson Farnsworth, and Zack Horton for Lincoln County when it counted most, as Mint Hill stranded 15 base runners throughout the game.
The Cardinals bats were spread amongst the lineup, as Allden Horne, David Borges, Gabe Duncan, and Spencer Bright each had two hits.
After two scoreless innings, Mint Hill opened up the scoring in the third inning on an errant throw from a Cardinals infielder with two outs, that allowed Michael Dansky to score and give Mint Hill a 1-0 lead.
In the bottom frame, the Cardinals got three straight singles with two outs from Dylan Dodson, Horne, and Borges to tie the game at one.
In the fourth inning, Lincoln County was able to open up the game in their favor. The Cardinals got their first run of the inning on an infield single from Bright to score Duncan. Then came the biggest hit of the night. With the bases loaded, Horne, Guilford College signee, crushed a double to left field that cleared the bases and gave Lincoln County a 5-1 lead.
Mint Hill answered with two unearned runs in the fifth inning, capitalizing on an infield error from Lincoln County to cut the lead to two runs. They threatened again in the sixth inning with the bases loaded and two outs, but Lincoln County relief pitcher Farnsworth got a swinging strikeout on a breaking ball in the dirt to get the Cardinals out of the jam.
Horton moved from third base to the mound to close it out for Lincoln County in the seventh inning and was able to record a fielder’s choice, a fly out, and a groundout to get the save and secure the win for the Cardinals.
Allen, a 2019 state champion with North Lincoln, picked up the win for Lincoln County, working 4.1 innings, giving up three runs that were all unearned. Berkavis took the loss for Mint Hill.
Lincoln County will be back in action for their regular season finale on the road Saturday night against Cleveland County at Kings Mountain High School.
Mint Hill 001 020 0 - 3 11 0
Lincoln Co. 001 400 x - 5 9 4
(Wednesday) Maiden 3,
Lincoln County 2
Lincoln County’s three-game win streak was snapped on the road Wednesday night as they suffered a 3-2 setback on the road to the hands of Maiden Post 240.
In a low scoring Area IV Eastern Division matchup, Lincoln County was unable to capitalize on scoring chances late in the game, which ended up costing the Cardinals in the long run. Matty Jorgensen and Nathan Callahan had two hits each to lead the Lincoln County bats.
Lincoln County opened up the scoring in the second inning with two runs. After back-to-back singles from Logan Philemon and Callahan to lead off the inning, Jackson Farnsworth drove Philemon in with an RBI single off the wall in right-center field. Callahan would then come in to score later in the inning on a sacrifice fly RBI to right field off the bat of Zack Horton.
Maiden got on the board in the second inning as well, on an RBI fielder’s choice off the bat of Mark Lyda, scoring Jacob Cauble.
In the third inning, Maiden tacked on two more runs on a Mac Beam RBI single to right field scoring Jay Sipe, and a Cauble RBI sacrifice fly to center field scoring Ivan Huffman.
The Cardinals threatened in the fifth inning with a runner on second. Jorgensen smoked a line drive, but the Salamanders third baseman Cy Spencer was placed perfectly to catch the ball and end the threat.
Maiden left runners on first and third in the fifth inning with one out, relief pitcher Noah Sigmon was able to record a pop-out and a flyout to escape the threat and keep the Cardinals within striking distance.
Lincoln County came close to tying the game again in the sixth inning, with a runner on third and two outs. Maiden relief pitcher Elijah Carr buckled down and got a strikeout looking to retire the side.
Carr came back out for the seventh inning, and was able to work around a leadoff single from Horton to pick up the save for Maiden.
Cauble picked up the win for Maiden, and Karson Williams who worked three innings, while allowing three runs on five hits and striking out two, took the loss for Lincoln County.
Lincoln Co. 020 000 0 - 2 8 1
Maiden 012 000 x - 3 7 1