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PREP BASEBALL

Lincoln baseball bats ringing loud and clear

Foothill, Placer fall
By: Joshua Gutierrez/Lincoln News Messenger
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AUBURN _ Placer High pitching was the fourth to fall victim to Lincoln’s red-hot bats as the Fighting Zebras carved out a 7-1 victory over the Hillmen last Friday.

But as strong as Lincoln has been at the plate, it has been equally as strong on the mound. Julio Martinez, Jake Sola and Ethan Liddle limited Placer to four hits and only one went for extra bases.

Kody Kencke continued his torrid pace using his aluminum wand to hit a double, two singles and drive in two runs. He also touched the dish twice to add two more runs.

Isaiah Garcia was right behind with two runs batted in on two hits and Jordan Stone was 2-for-3 and scored two runs. Ethan Liddle had a hit and an RBI.

Liddle up his average to .656, Kencke .486, Garcia .447 and Stone .370. As a team, the Zebras are batting at a .412 clip. Ironically, only Foothill (2-8, 0-4 in league) comes close with a .317 team batting average.

Lincoln improved its record to 10-1 and 4-0 in the Pioneer Valley League, tied with Colfax. The Zebras and Falcons square off April 3 in Lincoln.

Only Roseville has been able to pin a loss on the boys in blue earning a 4-2 non-league win Monday.

LINCOLN 7, PLACER 1

Zebras            1 2 0  0 0 1  3 – 7

Hillmen           1 0 0  0 0 0  0 – 1

LINCOLN TEAM LEADERS

Batting – Garcia 2-5, 2bi, Pallas 1-4, 2b, 1r, 1bi, Kencke 3-4, 2b, 2r, 2bi, Liddle 2-1, 1bi, Martinez 1-4, Stone 2-3, Sola 2-5, 2b, 1bi, Stimbert 2-2, 2b, 2r, Totals – 13-32, 2b (3), 7r, 7bi.

Pitching – Martinez 3ip, 2h, 4k, Sola 3ip, 2h, 3k, Liddle 1ip, 3k.

LINCOLN 14, FOOTHILL 2

A rainout last week did nothing to slow down Lincoln as the Zebras came back the following day to defeat visiting Foothill 14-2 March 21.

The Fighting Zebras all but sealed the game with an 11-run second inning. With 13 at-bats that inning, each player in the lineup scored at least one run.

With the Zebras up 2-0 entering the second, Martinez started the Zebras off with a double. Stone and Marcus Warfield followed with two-consecutive base-on-balls.

After Kencke’s ground ball forced an out at the plate, Garcia came up with the bases still loaded. He hit a hard line drive to right-center field and cleared the bases for a three-run triple.

The Zebras added six more runs that inning before bringing up Garcia for a second opportunity. With runners in scoring position, Garcia again delivered to drive in both runs before being tagged out at second.

The shortstop finished the game 2-3 with a run scored and six RBI.

“I was seeing the ball really well,” said Garcia. “This past week I’ve been trying to get my hitting back up for league; just trying to be at my best.”

James Pallas also benefited from the big second inning, driving home Sola and Chris Rodriguez with a double.

Kencke finished the day 2-4 with three runs scored and an RBI.

Ben Lewis picked up the win but was relieved in the fourth to allow bench players time on the field.

In three innings of work, Lewis allowed three hits and struck out four. The junior’s best stretch came in the second inning after the lead-off batter drew a base-on-balls; Lewis went on to strike out the next three batters.

“It’s something we talk about, it’s out in the open,” said head coach Troy Petersen, as to the team’s then perfect record. “We talk about winning innings. We keep away from the winning streak. If we talk about winning innings we keep our minds off of the streak.”