Needles is always an exciting place to play according to Lincoln baseball coach Raymond Wadsworth, and most Lincoln fans would certainly agree, knowing the high rivalry between the schools over past years in any sport.
Last Friday, Paul Boag’s grounder to second scored pinch runner Allen Toledo with the go-ahead run and sparked a five-run seventh inning in the second game to lead the Lynx to a 7-2 win.
Lincoln County scored twice in the fifth to tie the game at 2-2 before the seventh inning eruption.
McClain O’Connor had a two-out RBI triple, and Preston Robbins had a run-scoring double in the seventh for the Lynx. “We finally started coming alive after that,” Wadsworth said. “The boys were really fired up about these games, because they were aware of the importance, and they came and played well. We minimized our mistakes and came through.”
Robbins was 2-for-3 in the finale for Lincoln County. Derek Shumway tossed a three-hitter and struck out five for the Lynx.
In the opener, Christian Florence went 3-for-3 with a double, two runs and an RBI, and Boag drove in three runs. O’Connor allowed four hits and struck out eight for a 9-2 Lincoln victory.
Wadsworth said the team doesn’t really have any one person they rely on, except for maybe O’Connor and Shumway as pitchers. “Each game it’s a different person to carry the team. One week it might be the bottom half (of the batting order), and the next week it might be the top half.”
The wins over Needles put the Lynx (14-5, 8-0), the defending league and region champions, in the Southern League lead. But they face two very strong opponents the next two weeks to close out the regular season. They play at The Meadows (11-5, 5-1) today and host White Pine (10-5, 5-3) on Saturday May 2. The Bobcats already have two losses to The Meadows and are hosting Needles (10-11, 5-3) this weekend.
The Southern Division III league tournament is in Panaca May 7-9.