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home : sports : local sports July 18, 2019

5/21/2019 8:01:00 PM
North Lincoln Wins First Game Of Western Region Baseball Playoffs

Wayne Howard
Staff Writer

North Lincoln won a pitchers' duel to take game one in a 2-out-of-3 series for the West Regional NCHSAA 2A Baseball Championship Tuesday night (May 21st). 

Joey Cobb allowed just three hits over six-and-two-thirds innings, struck out 10 and didn't issue a base on balls. West Lincoln's Chris Moxley also threw a great game.   He allowed three runs, but only five hits, struck out six batters and only the last of those runs--in the sixth inning--was earned.

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How it happened...

In the first inning an error and a walk put two players on base and a hit by Jake Quilla got the Knights their first run. A pickoff of the runner on first base got the third out of the inning, but the double steal worked as Jake Soorus crossed the plate first so the Knights led 2-0 after one inning.

Joey Cobb got the Rebels three up and three down in the first inning, two of the outs on strikeouts. He struck out the first batter in the second inning and an infield popup and a grounder to the shortstop ended the West Lincoln second--still without a base runner.

In the bottom of the second, Chris Moxley struck out two batters and the score remained 2-0 going into the third inning.

In the third inning, Cobb struck out the first batter, but West Lincoln's Dylan Smith got the first hit of the game for the Rebels. Two wild pitches advanced him to third base. Cobb then walked the next batter and a fielder's choice scored Smith to cut the lead to 2-1. A groundout ended the West half of the inning.

In the bottom of the third, with two outs, Seth Whitley got a hit, then Jake Soorus walked, but Quilla was called out on strikes and the score remained 2-1 after three innings.

West Lincoln went three up and three down in the fourth inning as Cobb struck out the second and third batters.

In the bottom of the fourth, North got one runner on base on a walk, but didn't threaten to score and the game remained 2-1 North leading.

West went three up and three down on three fly balls to right field in the fifth inning, so the score remained 2-1.  

A popup by Landon Reeves got the first out in the bottom of the fifth for North; then Matt Heavner stroked the ball to left center and used his speed to slide into second with a double.  Seth Whitley then struck out and Jake Soorus, who had walked twice, got an infield hit to second base.  Heavner advanced to third base. On a strike pitch to Jake Quilla, Soorus went unchallenged to second, but Quilla struck out to end the inning.

In the top of the sixth, Cobb struck out the first batter; then Samuel Duncan got West Lincoln's second hit of the game.  Brandon Lail then took a called third strike.  Dylan Burkey then struck out, and it was still a 2-1 lead for North Lincoln.

In the bottom of the sixth, Tanner Brumfield walked, a bunt then advanced  pinch runner Ethan Bryant to second.  Kyle Brittain then stroked a single scoring Bryant to give North a 3-1 lead.  

With Moxley near the pitch count limit of 105, Dylan Smith took over on the mound.  Smith then got Brady on a popup to second base, and struck out the final batter of the inning.  

West Lincoln then came to bat in the seventh needing two runs to tie the game, three to take the lead. Dylan Beam hit a double to right field, but tried to stretch it to a triple and Matt Heavner threw him out.  A strikeout made it two away.  Then Soorus replaced Cobb on the mound and hit Chandler Cobb in the back with his first pitch.  A single moved the runner up, but a groundout ended the game.

The two teams will meet in game two Thursday evening at 5:30 at West Lincoln.  A win by North there will send them to the state championship series.  A win by West will send the teams back to North Lincoln Friday at 7 PM for a deciding game.

NOTE: Unlike Tuesday's game, there will be no radio broadcast of Thursday's game at West Lincoln.  While we find it ridiculous, silly, and not in the best interest of the school, the players, or the community, the broadcast team from WLON Radio isn't allowed in the press box for any sport at West.  We've asked, and they can't even give us a valid reason why (telling us, "you wouldn't understand") so the feud between the administration and the local radio station continues--to the detriment of all.  If you're going to the game, get there early.  It starts at 5:30 and the stands will be packed well before that time.  


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