Zebras out last Center but can’t keep up the pace

Cougars go down hard
By: Jim Linsdau News Messenger Sports Editor
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Coming off an earlier 15-3 victory over Center’s Cougars, the Lincoln High baseball team appeared on their way to repeat that performance last Thursday when an incident a home plate broke the Fighting Zebras’ concentration. However, the boys in blue held on for a 4-3 win. In the first inning, the Zebras loaded the bases and looked as if they would break open the game and chase off the mound Cougars’ pitcher Drew Knutson. However, on an infield fly rule Trent Parks (third base) and Jordan Albarron (second base) tried to score when the ball was dropped and the Cougars began throwing the ball around the infield in an attempt to stop advancing runners; both were called out at home and Albarron was subsequently ejected from the game. “In the beginning of the game, when we had a kid tossed, we were a little upset at the time because we didn’t think it was the right thing to do,” said Lincoln head coach Troy Peterson. Peterson said Albarron had crossed his arms to protect his face heading into his slide. The Cougars’ catcher tried to block the plate and was knocked down by Albarron but held onto the ball for the out. The umpire ruled that Albarron crossed his arms in a deliberate attempt to hit the catcher. Lincoln did score two runs in that inning, and would get two more over the next two innings but no more. That put the burden on the Zebras’ defense. “I’m not sure the bats went silent, as we were hitting it at them” Peterson said in answer to the question of his club’s hitting. “We had (only) two strikeouts so we hit the ball every time. We didn’t come through at the right time.” James Pallas started on the mound for the Zebras and pitched a solid game, although he was erratic at times hitting five batters in the contest. “Some pitches would run inside,” Pallas said after the game. “My two-seam (fastball) was moving a little too much and it kept running inside and I hit a lot of the batters. My curve ball was hanging a lot too and I hit a lot of batters with that.” In spite of giving Center that opportunity to put runners on base, the infield was almost impenetrable. Second baseman Kody Kencke and shortstop Isaiah Garcia swept up the infield. In the outfield Ethan Liddle gunned down a runner at the plate. Catcher Marcus Warfield made a diving tag to prevent the score. Center left nine men on base by game’s end. Jake Gomez came on in relief of Pallas in the sixth inning and began delivering aspirin tablets. He fanned two in the sixth and one in the seventh. With the bases loaded and holding onto a one-run lead in the last inning, he got the final batter to hit one back to the mound for an easy play at first to end the game. “I don’t know why we didn’t chase (Center’s pitcher) off the mound,” Pallas said as to the Zebras’ inability to score in their last three at bats. “We wipe the field with pitchers like that, usually. We won, but it shouldn’t have been this; it was too close for my liking.” The win gave Lincoln six wins, but they dropped a makeup game to Colfax, 4-3, Saturday, and were defeated by Bear River 7-1, Monday. That put the Zebras’ record at 6-3 dropping them into second place behind the Falcons now 7-3. Lincoln was scheduled to play four games this week. Lincoln 4, Center 3 R H E Cougars 0 0 0 0 2 0 1 – 3 8 2 Zebras 2 1 1 0 0 0 - – 4 8 0 Center ab r h bi C Rebello 4 0 0 0 Eldredge 2 1 0 0 Goad 3 0 2 1 Lukes 4 1 4 1 Wise 4 0 0 0 Knutson 4 0 1 1 Acuff 2 1 1 0 N Rebello 3 0 0 0 Oill 2 0 0 0 Totals 28 3 8 1 LP _ Knutson, 6 IP, 3 ER, 2 K, 3 BB Lincoln ab r h bi Warfield 3 0 0 0 Garcia 3 1 1 0 Pallas 2 0 2 0 Kencke 3 1 0 0 Rodriguez 2 1 1 0 Liddle 3 0 1 1 Gomez 3 1 1 0 Albarron 0 0 0 1 Sola 3 0 1 1 Parks 3 0 1 0 Totals 26 4 8 3 WP – Pallas, 5 IP, 2 ER, 4 K, 1 BB SV – Gomez, 2 IP, 1 ER, 2 K, 1 BB