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PREP BASEBALL

Lincoln baseball off to a strong start

Dragons fall 11-1
By: Joshua Gutierrez/News Messenger Correspondent
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Capping the first week of the 2013 season, the Lincoln High baseball team defeated visiting Sacramento 11-1 last Thursday. The Fighting Zebras now stand with a 2-0 record.

With an all-around performance, the Zebras’ offense gave more than enough support to a commanding pitching performance by Julio Martinez and Chris Rodrigues.

The Dragons struggled all afternoon against Martinez, who in five innings of work, allowed three hits, no base on balls, and struck out 10.

Martinez collected two strikeouts in each of the three innings to start the game. With only one hit allowed at that point, the senior dug in for his best inning of work.

In the fourth inning, Martinez collected his first two outs on six-swinging strikes. Though the last strikeout for the inning came a little harder, the result was the same as the Dragons’ player was caught looking on a called third strike.

“My fastball was working today,” said Martinez after the game. “The first inning I didn’t feel too strong, but as we kept going, I felt stronger and stronger.”

Combined with Rodrigues’ relief work, the Fighting Zebras totaled 12 strikeouts and allowed no earned runs.

Lincoln came out in the first inning swinging, and even before Sacramento could collect their first out of the inning, the Zebras already enjoyed a 3-0 advantage.

By innings end, the Zebras had all but secured Sacramento’s starting pitcher Alex Barajas’ early exit. Lincoln scored five runs on five hits, two base-on-balls, and one Dragons’ fielding error.

By the time Mitch McGuire hit a sacrifice fly to deep right field to score Ethan Liddle and enact the 10-run deficit rule, the Zebras had collected 12 hits (eight for extra bases), three walks and 11 runs.

After the game, Lincoln head coach Troy Petersen spoke about his team’s effort late in the game, referring back to a similar situation two days prior in a win over Oakmont.

“On Tuesday (against Oakmont) we came out hot and then really never got back into the game,” said Petersen. “We came out hot again today and after a lull, the boys picked themselves up and started hitting the ball. It was good stuff.”

LINCOLN 11, SACRAMENTO 1

Dragons          000 100 x –   1   3  1

Zebras            500 411 x – 11 12  1