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Enterprise drops a dozen on West Lincoln — The Bears get stung after the Yellow Jackets awaken in a big third inning

The Enterprise Yellow Jackets plunged a stinger into West Lincoln Tuesday night, popping the Bears in the first of a three-game series for a 12-0 victory.

The Enterprise boys cashed in big in the third inning, putting up 11 runs and never looking back for the remainder of the game. Meanwhile, the Yellow Jackets’ defense was clutch, allowing West Lincoln only three hits and no runs.

“I think we hit pretty decent,” said Enterprise sophomore Austin Fugler. “Being walked a few times helped us out. We had a few big hits, overall we hit the ball pretty good.”

The game started slowly, as neither team was able to reach the bases in the first inning.

The Yellow Jackets got a runner on base in their half of the second. Junior Landon Gartman reached first on an errant throw to first base. West Lincoln was able to strand Gartman, getting the next three batters out.

The Bears were able to get runners on base in the top half of the third. With one out, Senior Chase Owen nailed a double. Senior Baylie Hughes followed with a single. Enterprise prevented West Lincoln from scoring, striking out the next two batters.

Enterprise broke the monotony in the third inning, when the Jackets’ bats came to life and knocked in 11 runs to nail down the game.

With one out, sophomore John Burns hit a single. Fugler scored the first run of the game on an RBI single.

Sophomore Wyatt Burns followed with a single. Junior Hunter Richardson brought a run across home plate with an RBI single. Gartman walked, loading up the bases with just one out.

Senior Cade Feltus brought in a run on an RBI single. Freshman Dylan Carter walked, bringing in another run. Enterprise would score another run off a wild pitch that got past the catcher.

John Burns came up big for Enterprise, nailing a bases-clearing double. Fugler followed with a single. The Yellow Jackets would score their last three runs of the inning on a triple by Wyatt Burns, who found himself crossing the plate on a dead ball call by the umpire before the Bears were finally able to get out of the inning.

West Lincoln attempted to get something started in the top of the fourth, as senior Kylar Fielder led off with a triple. Enterprise was able to get out of the inning without letting the runner score.

The Yellow Jackets fined their scoring and the game in the final frame of the fourth. Sophomore Colby Beard led off with a single. With two outs, sophomore Dustin Prather singled. John Burns ended the game with an RBI single, giving Enterprise a 12-0 shutout win.

“Defensively, we did good,” Richardson said. “Gartman pitched really well and that helped out a lot. That was the main reason we won.”

Gartman said he thought he pitched a pretty good game, but toned down his teammate’s praise.

“I threw strikes, got a few hits, but everyone is going to hit the ball,” he said. “The key for my pitching is practicing every day and working on everything every day.”

Enterprise coach Cass Brister said his team’s offensive burst allowed his pitcher to breathe, focus and concentrate on his job.

“We hadn’t been able to really manufacture runs, but tonight we did, and that takes off a lot of pressure on a pitcher. Makes him feel like he doesn’t have to do as much,” he said. “I felt really good about it, but it’s got to be short-lived because we play West Lincoln again on Friday. I know they will be coming out and ready to go, and we got to match it.”

Gartman picked up the win for Enterprise, going four innings while allowing three hits and no runs while picking up 10 strikeouts.

Fielder started on the mound for West Lincoln. Junior Garrett Maxwell pitched in relief.

John Burns had a single, double and three RBIs. Fugler had a single and an RBI. Wyatt Burns had a single, triple and three RBIs. Richardson had two singles and an RBI. Beard had a single and an RBI. Feltus had a single and an RBI.   

Fielder had a triple for the Bears. Owen hit a double. Hughes finished the hitting for West Lincoln with a single.

West Lincoln will host games two and three Friday, weather permitting.

Story by Dave Linton