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home : sports : local sports August 15, 2022

5/5/2022 7:23:00 AM
Tournament Scores & Schedule
Championship games now scheduled for Thursday

Wayne Howard

There was a play way back in 1962 that was made into a movie in 1966 called "A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum." It was a comedy based on an opening line often used by vaudeville comedians: "A funny thing happened on my way here tonight."

For the two Lincoln County teams in the Western Foothills Conference Baseball Tournament, what happened Wednesday night may be considered a 'not so funny' thing. Both North Lincoln, the regular season conference champs, and East Lincoln, the reguar season runners-up, lost.

For North, it started off well. They scored three runs in the bottom of the first inning. But the Tigers clawed their way back, scoring a run in the fourth and tying the game with two in the fifth; then taking the lead with two more in the sixth before pounding out five in the top of the seventh to seal the deal.

The 10-3 win by Fred T. Foard put them in the tournament championship game which had been scheduled for Friday night but will now be played Thursday at 7 PM because rain is forecast for Friday.

Their opponent will be St. Stephens. The Indians pulled off the other upset of Wednesday night, beating East Lincoln 9-6. St. Stephens had beaten East once during the regular season--back in March, but the Mustangs had won the rematch in late April. But this time, it was the Indians' turn.

North had also won two regular season games against Foard, but the Tigers scattered nine hits and seven walks just right, played good defense with only one error, and winning pitcher Josh Swink settled down after that rough start and reliever Zac Martin gave up only two hits, struck out three batters and walked none in one-and-a-third innings for the save.

The outcome was reversed the baseball results in the conference softball tournament. The unbeaten East Lincoln girls had 14 hits including a homer by Betsy Eatmon to secure their 20th win of the season 10-1 over Foard. Eatmon finished 3 for 3 and drove in three runs. Taliyah Thomas went 2 for 3 with a double and a sacrifice scoring three runs and driving in two.

Leah Correll was brilliant as usual, striking out 10 of the 19 batters she faced. With East ahead 9-0, sophomore Madison Currence finished things out, striking out two, giving up just two hits to the eight batters she faced, and allowing only one run as the Mustangs prevailed.

In the championship game Thursday evening at 7, they'll play North Lincoln, 4-2 winners against St. Stephens Wednesday night. East won two regular season games with the Knights, 13-3 in March and 13-0 on Monday.

Bandys and Bunker Hill will play for the Catawba Valley Conference Baseball Tournament championship. The Trojans, regular season champs, beat Maiden 10-0 Wednesday. The game was called after five innings when the Trojans took a 10-run lead. Terick Bumgarner gave up only one hit while striking out 9 Blue Devils. Parker Styborski went 3 for 3 at the plate including a home run and a double driving in four runs.

While Bumgarner is now 7-2 with an ERA of 1.24, Thursday night's starter is also awesome. Junior Cade Spencer is 8-1 and his ERA is just 1.29. Styborski is batting .519, and 17 of his 42 hits were for extra bases.

The Bears advanced with an 8-2 win over Newton-Conover. Bandys won both regular season meetings with Bunker Hill.

The championship will be played at Henkel-Alley Field adjacent to the Hickory American Legion Fairgrounds. It was scheduled for 7 PM Friday, but with a weather forecast for rain, it has been moved up to 7 PM Thursday.

The Catawba Valley Conference Softball Tournament championship Thursday evening comes down to a rematch of the two top teams from the regular season. Both West Lincoln and Bandys finished with only one loss in the league: West lost to Bandys 6-5 in eight innings on March 8th at Bandys, but the Rebels won at home 6-1 on April 1st.

West beat Newton-Conover 15-0 Monday and West Caldwell 6-0 Tuesday to advance to the championship. Bandys downed Bunker Hill 15-5 Monday and Maiden 9-0 Tuesday.

The tournament is being played at Lenoir-Rhyne College in Hickory. The championship game is scheduled for 7 PM Thursday with the awards ceremony to follow.

Cherryville finished in third place in the Southern Piedmont 1A/2A Conference regular season standings.  The Ironmen were expected to beat Bessemer City in the conference tournament on Tuesday--and they did, 16-2.  They were not expected to beat second place regular season East Gaston, but they pulled off an upset Wednesday night, winning 9-5.  They'll play Burns, the regular season champs, for the tournament championship Thursday night at 7.  The Bulldogs' only conference loss was to East Gaston in early April.  They are 20-3 overall.  That game will be broadcast by WCSL Radio (1590AM, 92.9FM), also availabe online at

Lincoln Charter's baseball team won 16-4 over Langtree Charter Wednesday and will play at home at 7 PM Thursday for the Catawba Shores Conference tournament championship.  Brady Swadley and Mason Smith each had a home run and batted in three runs for the Eagles.

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