Lincoln County High School baseball did it again, bringing home their fourth state championship in a row during the state finals May 16-18 in Las Vegas.
Lincoln beat Incline 14-7, Yerington 10-0 and Meadows 9-1.
Against Incline, Lincoln took the lead in the bottom of the second, but Incline caught up immediately, taking the lead by one. Lincoln gained a foothold in the next few innings, steadily scoring and building up the lead until Incline was down to the wire in the top of the seventh, trying to catch up to Lincoln’s eight-run lead. Incline fell short and Lincoln moved on to the next game against Yerington.
Kobe Walker struck out three and Alex Vincent struck out four.
Coach Raymond Wadworth said, “Incline’s a good team. They put the ball in play, and we were able to make all the routine plays and a couple really good spectacular plays, and we had some timely hits and we pitched really well. It was a good game.”
Vincent hit 2-for-3 with one triple and a home run with 3 RBIs. Mason Thornock hit 3-for-5 with one double and an RBI. McKinley O’Connor hit 3- for-4 with a double and a home run and three RBIs.
May 17, Lincoln defeated Yerington. Lincoln had a strong start with two runs each in the first and second inning. Thornock’s pitching kept a strong hold on Yerington, and coupled with the defense, Yerington barely made it on base. With two more runs in each of the fifth, sixth and seventh innings, Lincoln placed in the championship the next day. Damon Liveri hit an infield home run due to errors made by Yerington, a highlight of the game.
Thornock pitched seven innings, striking out three.
Thornock also hit 4-for-5 with a triple and one RBI. O’Connor hit a triple with two RBIs.
Wadsworth said, “Yerington’s a really, really good team and has been for years, but Mason pitched that game and kept them off-balance the whole time and kept them guessing. They didn’t know which pitch he was going to throw because he was throwing everything he had for a strike. He only gave up five hits to probably one of the best hitting teams in the state. No one from Yerington even made it to third base. That tells a lot about the game he had, pitching-wise, and offensively we got some things to go our way. Everyone was able to participate and it was just an all-around great game.”
Lincoln swept Meadows in the championship game. The first couple innings were scoreless, until the bottom of the third when Lincoln began their climb to the win. They built run upon run and to finish it off, scored six runs in the bottom of the sixth inning. Meadows only managed one run the entire game.
O’Connor and Vincent pitched, each striking out three.
Vincent hit a double with one RBI. Thornock went 3-for-4 with a double and a triple and three RBIs. Mathew Hafen hit a triple with one RBI. Braxton Tingey hit a double.
“This game was, again, spectacular,” Wadsworth said. “McKinley O’Connor pitched and Alex Vincent came in and closed it out. Just phenomenal pitching. We struggled with hitting at first, then snapped out of the daze we were in and scored six runs in the sixth innings, and all those runs were earned. It was fantastic, just all-around great effort. I’m thrilled with how the season went.”
The coach reflected on the run his program has had.
“To have a team this good and this solid in the line up, one through nine, is almost unheard of in this league,” he said. “I’m really proud of the young men in the way that they play the game and won the games. I’m really proud of my coaching staff and the sacrifices they made to put us in the position where we were. I’m really going to miss the seniors. They’ve been the heart and soul of the team for the last few years. The younger guys are going to have to step up and show their own abilities in the future and hopefully it’s got a good outcome.”