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Bobcats and Bears finish the fight in 3-game series

West Lincoln takes game two with 5-3 win over Bogue Chitto to tie the series

The West Lincoln Bears took game two of their three-game series against Bogue Chitto Thursday night, beating the Bobcats 5-3 in the first contest of a double-header.

A damp, muddy field wasn’t enough to keep West Lincoln in check, as the Bears jumped out front early. Three runs in the top half of the third was all West Lincoln needed to tie up the series at one game apiece.

“The key for our pitching was we were able to throw breaking balls for strikes,” said West Lincoln senior Gabe Nations. “We were able to hit the fast ball when we got them.”

Starting on the mound for Bogue Chitto, sophomore Shaw King struck out the first batter he faced. West Lincoln got their first base runner on board with a double by junior Garrett Maxwell. Senior Kylar Fielder scored the first two runs of the game off his two-run RBI home run that went over the right center wall. The Bobcats got out of the inning producing back-to-back popups.

Bogue Chitto’s junior Bryce Langley started the bottom half the first with a double. With one out, senior Tucker Lambert scored Langley on an RBI sacrifice bunt. Although senior Connor Price and senior Trey Nettles each followed with a single, West Lincoln managed to hold the Bobcats to just one run, getting the final out on a strike out.

“We did good,” said West Lincoln senior Landon Lynch. “Pitching, Nations came in relief and he really did good. I couldn’t find my breaking balls but Nations pitched well for the save.”

The Bears got one runner on base in their half of the second. Senior Gabe Nations doubled. The Bobcats stranded Nations, getting the next three batters out on strikeouts.

West Lincoln senior Landon Lynch made short work in the bottom of the second, getting Bogue Chitto to go three up and three down.

The Bears added to their lead in the top half of the third. West Lincoln loaded the bases with one out. Lynch scored two runs on a two-run RBI double. The Bears scored one more run off a Bobcats error before Bogue Chitto was able to get out of the inning.

The Bobcats threatened to take over the game in their half of the third, loading up the bases with two outs, but were unable to bring in any runs. West Lincoln ended the inning getting a strike out.

“I thought Landon threw well,” said West Lincoln coach David Gilbert. “He really didn’t have his good stuff today, but he found ways out of big jams. I thought Gabe came in and pitched excellent in relief for us. Was a good ball game and we found the runs and the hits we needed, and was backed by two good pitchers.”

Bogue Chitto made a rally attempt in the bottom of the fourth. With two outs and two runners on base, senior Tanner Gunther brought in a run off an RBI double. The Bobcats loaded the bases with two outs and scored their final run of the game on a wild pitch. The Bears tied up the series with a 5-3 win.

“We played sluggish,” said Bobcats senior Trey Nettles.

“We just came out flat,” said Bogue Chitto coach Gareth Sartin. “We just didn’t play our best. The pitching for West Lincoln kept us a little off-balance. We couldn’t get a big hit when we needed to. We had runners on bases, we just could not get the big hits.”

King picked up six strikeouts in four innings worth of work for the Bobcats. Lambert pitched in relief, striking out four.

Lynch struck out two batters in four innings of work for the Bears. Nations pitched in relief, striking out five batters.

Nettles had two singles for Bogue Chitto. Langley had a double. Gunther also had a double and an RBI. Price had a single. Lambert finished game one with an RBI.

Fielder had a home run and two RBIs for the Bears. Maxwell had a double. Nations had a single and a double. Lynch had a single, double and two RBIs.

West Lincoln, 9-8 overall, 4-2 in Region 7-2A, will travel to Enterprise Tuesday to start a three-game series. Games two and three will be at West Lincoln Friday.

Bogue Chitto, 7-7 overall, 4-5 in Region 7-2A, will host the Franklin County Bulldogs Thursday.

Bogue Chitto crushes West Lincoln 12-2 to take game three and the series

Bogue Chitto’s Bobcats dropped mercy on West Lincoln Thursday night, beating the Bears 12-2 in six innings to take the final game of the week’s three-game series.

“The game went good for us and the difference in the win was we hit the ball,” said Bogue Chitto senior Connor Price. “We made plays when they were there.”

With one out and runners on the corners, the Bears scored the first run of the game. Junior Gavin Burris led off for the Bears with a single. Sophomore Travis Hall brought Burris in on an RBI sacrifice fly. Bogue Chitto stranded two Bears runners, getting out of the inning on a strikeout.

The Bobcats tied up the game in their half of the first. Leading off for Bogue Chitto, junior Bryce Langley drew a walk. Senior Tanner Gunther reached second base on an error, which brought in Langley. Senior Tucker Lambert reached safety on a single. But West Lincoln kept the game at a tie, recording the final three outs.

The Bears scored their final run in their half of the second. Sophomore Grant Jackson led off with a single. With one out, senior Baylie Hughes drew a walk. Burris followed with a walk of his own, loading up the bases. West Lincoln could only manage one run, off an RBI sacrifice by junior Garrett Maxwell, before the close of the inning.

The Bobcats managed to get two runners on bases off walks in their half of the second, but were unable to bring the runners in as West Lincoln got the next three batters out.

Bogue Chitto took the lead — and command of the game — in the bottom half of the third. With two runners on and one out, sophomore Shaw King came up with an RBI double. The Bobcats scored one more time off of a bad pickoff attempt at third base.

Langley added to the Bobcats’ score in the top of the fourth, hitting a leadoff home run. Bogue Chitto loaded up the bases with two outs and scored two runs on back-to-back hit batters. The Bears ended the inning getting a much-needed strike out.

Senior Tanner Gunther led off Bogue Chitto’s half of the fifth with a double. Senior Connor Price brought in Gunther on an RBI single. Senior Trey Nettles followed with a double. King drove in a run off an RBI single. The Bobcats scored one more run on a wild pitch that went past West Lincoln’s catcher.

Bogue Chitto finished their scoring in the final frame of the sixth. Price brought in a run on an RBI single. The Bobcats scored the final run off another wild pitch, winning the series by a final score of 12-2.

“We cleaned up things from the first game and came out and whipped them,” Nettles said.

Bogue Chitto coach Gareth Sartin said his team finally “got going” for game two.

“Offensively we were able to put some hits together. West Lincoln helped us with the walks and hit batters,” he said. “But we were able to get the hits and it was a big bounce-back win for us. We needed to get that win in region play. I was proud we were able to focus and get the win.”

Gunther pitched all six innings for Bogue Chitto.

Burris started on the mound for West Lincoln. Senior Gabe Nations pitched his second game of relief.

“It was a tough loss, but now we have to come back against a great Enterprise team,” said West Lincoln coach David Gilbert.

West Lincoln tallied just three hits. Burris had a single. Sophomore Grant Jackson hit a single. Sophomore Travis Hall had a single and an RBI. Junior Garrett Maxwell had an RBI.

King had a single, double and three RBIs for Bogue Chitto. Langly had a home run and an RBI. Price had two singles and two RBIs. Lambert had a single. Nettles had a double. Gunther had a double. Sophomore Ethan Gladden had an RBI. Freshman J.T. McCaffery had an RBI. Sophomore Koltin Roberts also had an RBI.

West Lincoln, 9-8 overall, 4-2 in Region 7-2A, will travel to Enterprise Tuesday to begin a three-game series. Games two and three will be at West Lincoln Friday.

Bogue Chitto, 7-7 overall, 4-5 in Region 7-2A, will host the Franklin County Bulldogs Thursday.

Story by Dave Linton