Junior Mason Smith went the distance, striking out 14 Cherryville batters and holding the Ironmen to a single run in the first inning as the Lincoln Charter Eagles gained the top spot in the Southern Piedmont Conference with a 5-1 win at Cherryville Tuesday evening. Smith gave up just six hits and walked only one batter.
The Eagles also scored a first inning run, took the lead with another in the second, and added three more in the sixth. Smith helped his own cause with two hits in four at-bats, both doubles, and drove in one of the LCS runs.
Davis Al Husseini went 2 for 2, reaching base on walks on his other two plate appearances; he also stole a base and had one RBI.
The win makes the Eagles 12-1 overall (they beat North Gaston in their only non-conference game) and 11-1 in the league. Cherryville is also 12-1, but two of their wins have been non-conference (over Ashbrook) so they have one conference game left--at home Friday night with Bessemer City. A win would create a tie for the league championship.
Lincoln Charter will play one more regular season game--at South Caldwell in a non-conference outing--this Friday night; then come the playoffs next week.
In the South Fork Conference, East Lincoln will have to wait another day to clinch the conference championship. The Mustangs game at Newton-Conover was rained out Tuesday. They'll play the Red Devils Wednesday (June 9th). The game has also been changed to a 7 PM start. A win will give them the championship. East will host Newton-Conover in the final regular season game Friday night (7 PM).
North Lincoln has clinched the other playoff berth representing the South Fork. The Knights improved t 10-3 with a 13-3 win over Bandys Tuesday. Sophomore Kyle Brittain batted 2 for 3 and had a solo homer, and Brett Bassani had a double and knocked in four runs for North. Timmy Schaffer had no hits, but he made the most of four bases on balls scoring four runs for his team. Matt Heavner went 2 for 2, also had a walk, batted in three runs and also scored three.
In the five-inning game, winning pitcher Landon Reeves struck out seven, gave up six hits and walked none.
The Knights final regular season game will be at Bandys on Friday night.
Maiden beat Lincolnton 7-3 Tuesday. The Wolves host the Blue Devils in their final game of the season Friday night. West Lincoln lost to Lake Norman Charter 2-0. They'll play them again on Friday evening at West.