In game two of the second round of the Area IV playoffs Monday night at East Lincoln High School, Lincoln County defended its home field and defeated Mint Hill 8-4.
The Cardinals took the lead in the third inning on a Matty Jorgensen grand slam and never gave it back. Jorgensen led the team with five RBIs, while David Borges led Lincoln County with two hits.
Lincoln County starting pitcher Andrew Patrick, who was coming off a complete-game shutout last week, battled through command issues and defensive errors to pitch 3.1 innings. He gave up four runs, only one of which was earned, while striking out two Mint Hill batters.
Horton came on in relief of Patrick in the fourth inning and excelled out of the bullpen. The Lincoln Charter graduate kept the Mint Hill batters off balance, striking out seven batters, while only allowing one hit and no runs in 3.2 innings pitched.
In the first inning, Mint Hill was able to capitalize on an infield error to score one run to take the lead.
Lincoln County responded in the bottom frame, also capitalizing on an infield error that allowed Allden Horne to advance to third base. Jorgensen then came up and delivered with an RBI sacrifice fly to right field that scored Horne to tie the game at one.
Two more infield errors in the third inning hurt the Cardinals again, gifting Mint Hill two runs to give them a 3-1 lead.
The Cardinals answered in the bottom frame with four huge runs to take a 5-3 lead. With the bases loaded, Matty Jorgensen launched a monstrous grand slam to left field that scored Bright, Horne and Borges, who led off the inning with three consecutive singles.
Mint Hill added one run in the fourth inning on an RBI sacrifice fly to center field off the bat of Owen Tappy that scored Bubba Comer.
Lincoln County kept on fighting and scratched one more run in the fourth inning on an RBI single from Borges to center field that scored Horne, extending their lead back to two runs.
The Cardinals added two insurance runs in the sixth inning with two outs when Horton helped himself out with an important two-run double to left-center, scoring Borges and Jorgensento make it 8-4.
Horton came back out for the seventh inning and struck out the side to shut the game down and even the series up at one a piece.
Horton picked up the win for Lincoln County, while Mint Hill starting pitcher Bryce Goropse took the loss.
The two teams are scheduled to face off again tonight at 7 p.m. at Independence High School in game four of the best-of-5 series.
Mint Hill 102 100 0 - 4 6 3
Lincoln County 104 102 x - 8 8 3
(Game 3) Mint Hill 8, Lincoln County 7
The Cardinals scored four runs in the top of the seventh inning to take a 7-5 lead into the bottom of the inning, but couldn’t hang on.
Mint Hill scored three runs in the bottom half of the seventh for the walk-off win at Independence High School.
Allen Horne had two hits to lead the Cardinals at the plate.
Lincoln County Post 455 now faces elimination in tonight’s Game 4 at East Lincoln High School at 7 p.m.
(Game 1) Mint Hill 10, Lincoln County 2
Game one of the second round of the Area IV playoffs was finished Monday after being suspended in the bottom of the fourth inning Sunday night, and saw Lincoln County fall to Mint Hill by a score of 10-2.
The Cardinals put together six hits on the night, but were unable to keep up with the bats of Mint Hill in game one.
Allden Horne had an RBI ground out to second base that scored Jackson Farnsworth to give the Cardinals their first run of the evening in the fourth inning. In the seventh inning, Lincoln County scored their second run on a RBI single to right field from Trenton Wood, scoring David Borges.
Kagan picked up the win for Mint Hill, while Noah Sigmon took the loss for Lincoln County.