NL BB Chad Matthews for 4/27/2023

North Lincoln’s Chad Matthews slides into second base while a St. Stephens player attempts to catch the throw and apply the tag.  The first place Indians defeated the Knights by a score of 7-4 April 25 in Pumpkin Center to remain in sole possession of first place in the Western Foothills 3A Conference.      

PUMPKIN CENTER—North Lincoln entered the most critical week of the regular season with a chance to pull into a tie for first place in the ultra-tight Western Foothills 3A Conference baseball race.

The Knights trailed frontrunner St. Stephens by a single game going into Tuesday night’s clash between the teams at North Lincoln.

The game lived up to advance billing for five innings, but the Indians pushed across three runs in the sixth inning to pull away for a 7-4 win.

Instead of a shakeup in the standings, St. Stephens held on to the top spot by moving to 9-2 in the conference, 16-4 overall. Meanwhile, North Lincoln slipped two games behind the Indians, dropping to 7-4 in the league and 11-8 overall.

Other results Tuesday from the Western Foothills 3A broke a log jam for second place between North Lincoln, Fred T. Foard and Hickory. Foard defeated East Lincoln to secure second place all alone at 8-3. Hickory lost 5-3 to North Iredell to fall into a tie with North Lincoln for third place at 7-4.

The Knights battled St. Stephens on near even terms through the first five frames Tuesday. They fell behind 1-0 but tied the game 1-1 in the second. Later, North Lincoln came back from deficits of 3-1 and 4-2 to close the gap to a single run, but the host team could not tie or grab the lead.

Then came the pivotal sixth inning. Leading 4-3, the Indians scored three times off North Lincoln reliever Kaden Howard to take command. The big blow was Will Everett’s two-RB I single down the left field line with the bases loaded.

During his one inning relief stint, Howard walked two batters, one of them intentionally, hit a hitter and was charged with a balk that plated a run.

In the bottom of the sixth, the Knights trimmed the deficit to three runs when Chad Matthews banged a lead-off double and scored on Kellen Karr’s groundout.

However, in the bottom of the seventh Peyton Young moved from shortstop to the mound for St. Stephens and proceeded to strike out the side to close out the game.

Everett led the way for the Indians on the mound and at the plate. He pitched the first five innings and got the win, allowing three runs on four hits.

On offense, Everett went 3-4 with three RBIs and two extra-base hits, both doubles. His double in the sixth was the game changer.

Elsewhere for the Indians, James Tate went 2-2 with a double, a triple and two runs scored.

For North Lincoln, Matthews went 2-3 with two runs scored, and Eli Sipe finished 1-3 with a pair of RBIs.

Ty Goodson was the losing North Lincoln pitcher. He worked five innings, gave up four runs, one of which was unearned, struck out six, walked five and hit two batters.

For the game, three North Lincoln pitchers combined to give up seven walks and two hit batters.

The St. Stephens defense was a factor in the game. Young handled four tough chances flawlessly at shortstop, and the Indians turned a double play in the fifth inning to limit North to one run when it appeared a breakthrough inning was brewing.

In addition, first baseman Landon Harris assisted on three groundouts and retired another batter unassisted to provide St. Stephens with an air-tight right side of the infield.

St. Stephens 010 213 0—7 8 1

E. Lincoln      010 111 0—4 5 1

Everett, Tate (6), Young (7) and Skewes. Goodson, Howard (6), McGinnis (7) and Walker. W—Everett. L—Goodson. Doubles: Everett (2), Tate, Matthews. Triples: Tate.


Baseball / Softball / Soccer Roundup

Baseball - April 25

Maiden 12, Lincolnton 10

Trailing 12-4 after four innings, the Wolves made it interesting with a big six-run sixth inning to close the gap to two. But Maiden relief pitcher Tyler Hedgepeth retired Lincolnton in order in the seventh to close the door.

The Wolves got doubles from Cole Kiser, Caden Smith and Karson Cloninger (2 RBIs). Maiden’s Hayden Fleury drove in 4 runs with a double and a single, and Zane Williams also had two base hits.

Both Lincolnton and Maiden were to close out the regular season on Wednesday night. The Catawba Valley 2A Conference Tournament is next week..

Fred T. Foard 4, East Lincoln 1

The Mustangs fell to 6-5 in Western Foothills 3A Conference play at Foard. East Lincoln’s lone run came on an Isaac Armstrong solo home run. Trey Spees (double), Carson Dahle and Landon Burns had hits for the Mustangs. Armstrong also recorded 10 strikeouts on the mound.

Pitching: East Lincoln: SP Isaac Armstrong 4-⅔ IP, 3R, 3H, 10 K’s; RP Carson Dahle ⅔ IP, 1R 2H, 2K; RP Kade Scott ⅔ IP, 0R, 0H.

UP NEXT: East Lincoln is scheduled to host St Stephens on Friday.

Lincoln Charter 6, Christ the King 1

The Eagles scored five times in their final two at bats to pull away. Jacob Smith and Tyler Steele both homered for Lincoln Charter. Brady Swadley and Steele each had two hits. Smith got the win on the hill for the Eagles, allowing 1 run on 3 hits. Steele picked up the win.

CTK 000 100 0 - 1 4 1

LCS 100 023 x - 6 8 2


Softball - April 25

West Lincoln 7, East Burke 4

The Lady Rebels scored twice in the seventh inning to pull away from the Cavaliers. Gracie Elmore (3 RBIs), Carolina Robinson (2 RBIS) and Bailey Huss each had 2 hits for West Lincoln. Harlie Burton picked up a complete-game win, striking out seven.

West Lincoln 320 000 2 - 7 9 0

East Burke 301 000 0 - 4 10 2

The Lady Rebels (14-7, 9-4) were to close out CVAC play on Wednesday at home vs. Lincolnton.


East Lincoln 7, Fred T. Foard 2

The Lady Mustangs took over sole possession of first place with the win over the Lady Tigers. Leah Correll gave up just 2 runs (1 earned) on 2 hits, while walking 6 and striking out 9.

Leading hitters were: East Lincoln: Tatum Martin 2 singles, 2 runs scored; Lyla Haywood single, 2 doubles, 2 runs scored, RBI; Betsy Eatmon single, homerun, 3 RBIs, run scored; Jaelyn Freeston double, 2 RBIs; Lauren Bochardt 2 singles, run scored.

Fred T. Foard: Livi Queen single, RBI, run scored; Alyssa Smith single, RBI.

East Lincoln East Lincoln (14-1, 10-1) is scheduled to play at St. Stephens on Friday.

East Lincoln 240 000 1 - 7 10 1

Fred T. Foard 000 110 0 - 2 2 0


Baseball Scoreboard - April 25

St. Stephens 7, North Lincoln 4

Fred T. Foard 4, East Lincoln

Maiden 12, Lincolnton 10

East Burke 4, West Lincoln 0

Lincoln Charter 6, Christ the King 1

Cherryville 10, Bessemer City 0

Bunker Hill 6, Newton-Conover 3

Bandys 24, West Caldwell 0

North Iredell 5, Hickory 3

West Iredell 6, Statesville 1

North Gaston 20, Hunter Huss 2

South Point 9, Ashbrook 1

Crest 6, Forestview 3

Burns 5, Shelby 0

Stuart Cramer 1, Kings Mountain 0

Chase 15, Patton 1

R-S Central 10, North Henderson 2

East Rutherford 14, Polk County 1

Watauga 18, Freedom 2

Alexander Central 18, Hibriten 2

South Caldwell 23, Ashe County 12


Softball Scoreboard - April 25

North Lincoln 4, St. Stephens 3

West Lincoln 7, East Burke 4

Maiden 12, Lincolnton 1

Lincoln Charter 15, Christ the King 0

East Lincoln 7, Fred T. Foard 2

Bessemer City 5, Cherryville 4

West Caldwell 1, Bandys 0

Bunker Hill 14, Newton-Conover 3

North Iredell 14, Hickory 5

West Iredell 24, Statesville 0

Crest 12, South Point 2

North Gaston 16, Ashbrook 0

Stuart Cramer 20, Hunter Huss 1

Kings Mountain 14, Forestview 1

Burns 14, Shelby 0

East Rutherford 8, Polk County 1

Chase 6, Patton 0

Watauga 11, Freedom 8

Alexander Central 20, Hibriten 4

South Caldwell 13, Ashe County 9


Women's Soccer - April 25

Maiden 2, West Lincoln 0

St. Stephens 1, North Lincoln 0

East Lincoln 4, Fred T. Foard 1

Lincolnton 1, Newton-Conover 0

Bessemer City 4, Cherryville 2

Bandys 2, East Burke 0

Bunker Hill 1, West Caldwell 0

Hickory 1, North Iredell 0

West Iredell 6, Statesville 0

Ashbrook 5, North Gaston 1

Stuart Cramer 7, Hunter Huss 0

Forestview 2, Kings Mountain 1

South Point 7, Crest 2

Shelby 3, Burns 0

Thomas Jefferson 1, Highland Tech 0

Brevard 7, Chase 1

R-S Central 1, Patton 0

Hendersonville 5, East Rutherford 0

Watauga 9, Freedom 0

Hibriten 3, Alexander Central 0

Ashe County 4, South Caldwell 0


Baseball - April 24

Bandys 10, Bunker Hill 0

Avery County 10, West Caldwell 5

Highland Tech 14, Thomas Jefferson 6

West Meck 17, Hunter Huss 0

Draughn 10, Patton 1


Softball - April 24

Draughn 16, Lincolnton 8

Bandys 10, Bunker Hill 0

Highland Tech 12, Thomas Jefferson 2

Burns 8, East Gaston 0

R-S Central 7, T. C. Roberson 0

East Rutherford 2, York, S.C. 1


Women's Soccer - April 24

East Lincoln 7, Lincoln Charter 0

Highland Tech 5, Cherryville 0

Bandys 5, Challenger 0

East Gaston 9, Ashbrook 0

Owen 7, Draughn 1

(Published April 27, 2023)

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