Down 6-2, Knights rally for a 9-7 victory to win it all
GREENSBORO — North Lincoln High, down four runs heading into the fourth inning, rallied to beat Randleman 9-7 on Saturday night at UNC Greensboro and capture a state 2A baseball title, two games to none.
North Lincoln — behind 6-2 — scored three runs in the top of the fourth. Landon Reeves led off by walking and Matt Heaver had a one-out single before –with two outs – Jake Soorus reached on an error that drove in a run.
A two-run single by Jake Quilla followed that closed the Knights within 6-5.
Dominick Poole of Randleman drove in Matt Kemp with a two-out single in the fifth inning for a 7-5 lead.
North Lincoln tied it at 7 in the top of the sixth inning. Sam Brady was hit by a pitch, Heavner doubled and Seth Whitley’s sacrifice fly drove in run before Sorrus’ RBI groundout made it 7-all.
Randleman got a baserunner as far as third base in the sixth before Dawson Edwards grounded into a double play.
The Tigers’ third error of the game, with two outs in the seventh inning, set the table for North Lincoln.
Daniel Carter reached on an error and stole second base, scoring on a single to center field by Reeves. Brady then doubled to left to score Reeves.
The Knights’ Joey Cobb, who threw a complete game four-hitter in Game 1 of the series and struck out 11, was named the tournament MVP.
Randleman finished 27-6 after winning its fifth regional title and was in the championship series for the first time since 2015.
North Lincoln (26-6), which shared the South Fork 2A regular-season title with West Lincoln and beat the Rebels to win the West 2A title under head coach Jon Carpenter, won its first baseball state crown.
North Lincoln 2, Randleman 0 (Game 1)
Soorus’ two-run single in the bottom of the third inning carried North Lincoln to a Game 1 victory earlier Saturday at UNC Greensboro.
Playing a game originally scheduled Friday at UNC Greensboro’s Stadium but rained out, the second-seeded Knights (25-6) won to drop Randleman, an 11th seed, to 27-5.
Cobb was stellar for North Lincoln, spinning a complete game, four-hit shutout while striking out 11 and walking three.
He outdueled Kemp, who allowed just three hits. Kemp gave up one earned run, struck out 11 and walked four in five innings.
The Knights struck the decisive blow in the third inning, as Reeves worked a leadoff walk to set up the inning. Brady sacrificed Reeves into scoring position before Heavner singled on a fly ball to left that held Reeves up at second.
After the two runners advanced into scoring position on a passed ball, Soorus delivered a ground ball through the left side to score two runs.