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home : sports : local sports July 18, 2019

6/1/2019 3:51:00 PM
North Lincoln Takes First Game In NCHSAA 2A Title Series

Wayne Howard
Staff Writer


North Lincoln vs Randleman for NCHSAA 2A Baseball Championship at UNCG...North Lincoln, 'home' team for the first game, wins 2-0 to take the lead in the series. 

Joey Cobb pitched a great game for the Knights, spreading Randleman's four hits--three singles and a double--over seven innings.  He struck out 11 batters and walked just three. Jake Soorus drove in both runs with a single to left field.

How it happened

Cobb walked the first batter on five pitches.  The runner then went to second on a passed ball.  Dawson Edwards then hit a line drive out to right field and Cobb struck out the next batter for the second out.  Matt Kemp, the starting pitcher for Randleman, became Cobb's second strikeout of the inning, and despite getting a base runner into scoring position, the Tigers didn't score in their first at bat.

Sam Brady was the leadoff batter for the Knights. He struck out, then Matt Heavner hit a fly to centerfield that almost got by the centerfielder--but not quite.  Seth Whitley then got a single on a hit to centerfield, but Jake Soorus got called out on strikes and at the end of the first inning, it was 0-0.

In the top of the second inning, Cobb fell behind Nick Neal 3 balls and no strikes, then struck him out on three straight pitches.  Heavner made a quick throw to first on a close play to get the second out of the inning; then Cobb got his fourth strikeout of the game to retire the side.

In the Knights half of the second, Jake Quilla and Tanner Brumfield both went down on strikes, then Kyle Brittain hit the ball to short and beat it out on what was ruled an error on the shortstop.  Daniel Carter then struck out to end the inning, and the game remained scoreless after two innings.

In the third inning, the first Randleman batter got a single to right field.  The second batter struck out.  Then a ground ball to second turned into the first double play of the day and the Knights again kept Randleman from scoring.

In the bottom of the third, Landon Reeves walked.  Brady bunted and moved Reeves over to second on the fielder's choice as Kemp decided to get the out at first instead of throwing to second.  Heavner then hit the ball to centerfield and it was misjudged, but while he got a single, Reeves didn't advance.  Whitley then went down on strikes on three consecutive curve balls.  Soorus swung at a pitch in the dirt, but the ball got by the catcher and both runners advanced.  On a full count, Soorus hit the ball to left field and both Reeves and Heavner scored and Soorus took second.  Quilla then struck out, but the Knights had the lead 2-0 after three innings.

In the fourth inning, Dawson Edwards led off for the Tigers with a single.  Shortstop Ramsey Petty, who had struck out in his first at bat, did it again.  Kemp then hit a line drive to centerfield for the second out.  6'4" 270-lb power hitter Nick Neal then popped up and Heavner caught the ball to end the inning.

Brumfield led off the fourth for the Knights with a walk on four pitches.  Kyle Brittain then struck out.  Daniel Carter then walked and Landon Reeves struck out.  Sam Brady then grounded out to second and the Knights didn't score--leaving two on base--and the score remained North Lincoln 2, Randleman 0 after four complete innings.

A groundout to second by Dominick Poole on the first pitch of the 5th inning was followed by a strikeout by catcher Connor Sterling.  A walk by Cobb gave the Tigers a base runner, but a popup caught by Whitley at third base ended the Randleman fifth.

In the bottom of the inning, Heavner struck out; Whitley then got a base on balls.  Soorus then flied out to left field.  Quilla was then called out on strikes.

In the sixth inning, the leadoff batter got a double for the Tigers. Edwards then struck out.  Ramsey Petty then struck out for the third time of the day.  Kemp then walked and Nick Neal, who had 10 home runs on the season, came to the plate.  He struck out to end the inning for the Tigers.

In the bottom of the inning, Kemp moved to shortstop and the new pitcher, Dawson Edwards, hit the first batter he faced. The Tigers then got a double play and Reeves made the final out of the inning and it was still 2-0 after six innings.  

Randleman came to bat in the seventh trailing 2-0 and knowing they had to have two runs to keep the game going.  The first batter grounded out to second; Sterling, who had struck out twice, did again--and the Knights were one out away from a victory in game one.  Brooks Brannon then kept his team alive with a single, but the next batter hit the ball to Heavner and the shortstop threw the runner out at second to give North Lincoln the win.

It was the first time all season the Tigers had been shut out.  While North didn't score a lot of runs, and only three hits (one of the runners who scored reached on what was called an error) two runs were enough.  They beat a team who had seven shutouts of opponents on its 28-4 record coming into the game.  

You can watch the North Lincoln vs Randleman second game at 8 PM Saturday evening online. Go to https://www.nfhsnetwork.com/associations/nchsaa and subscribe. It'll cost you $9.95 but you can watch all the games plus other series being played. Subscription is good for one month so if you purchase to watch Saturday night, you’ll have access if a third game is necessary on Sunday (no time has been set for that game if it's needed).

WLON Radio (1050 AM, 107.5 FM) is broadcasting the North Lincoln games. You can also access their audio online at http://www.ktcbroadcasting.com/wlon---lincolnton--nc-1050am---107.5fm.html.



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