Great Starts And Finishes

The Bottom Line

By Bill Nestor
Sports Editor

 This past weekend provided some exceptional play that is definitely noteworthy.

As weather improved, impressive efforts followed.  Lincoln’s baseball team is off to the best start in Harrison County.  A pair of wins on Saturday pushed their record to 7-1 this season.  Cougar Head Coach Mark Starkey has continued to make all of the right decisions en route to the doubleheader sweep.

Lincoln upended Preston County in the first game 14 -4 in five innings.  The Cougars recorded five runs in both the second and fifth innings to put the game out of reach.  Four Lincoln players turned in multi-hit performances.  Kobie Carpenter, Chase Riley, David Akers, and Pat Bart had two hits apiece.  The big hit was provided by Dustin Marks; Marks recorded a three-run homer.  Payton Moore struck out four batters and collected the win.

The second contest of the day was a 5-0 shutout of St. Mary’s.  Hunter Moore and Dustin Marks collaborated on the mound.  Moore pitched five innings (striking out seven hitters) and earned the victory.  Marks struck out four of the six outs that he recorded. Carpenter and Nathanael Thompson each collected a pair of hits to lead the offensive attack.

Starting today, the Cougars are on a seven game road trip that will keep them out of Shinnston for over a week.

West Virginia University’s baseball team is off to an excellent start in Big 12 Conference play.  This past weekend they won their third consecutive series.  The first was at Baylor in mid March when they claimed the first two games before losing the series finals.

The second was at Oklahoma State on the last weekend of March.  The Mountaineers dropped the opener to the Cowboys, but rebounded to claim the last two lock-ups.

This past weekend was the first opportunity to host a conference foe as Kansas came to town; the Mounties outscored the Jayhawks 18-1 to claim games 1 and 2.  BJ Myers went the distance in the opener moving WVU’s win streak to five games.  A second consecutive dominant mound effort was turned in by Michael Grove, who carried a perfect game into the eighth inning.  Grove picked up the win after striking out 12 batters in the outing.

The winning streak was snapped on Sunday as Kansas upended the Mountaineers 7-2.  The affair was tied at 2-2 until the seventh inning when the Jayhawks scored a pair of runs before adding three more in the top of the ninth.  This weekend WVU hosts TCU in a three game series.

The strongest finish of the weekend was turned in by Spaniard Sergio Garcia. Garcia rallied on the back nine garnering momentum from an eagle on the 15th hole.  He was tied with playing partner Justin Rose after 72 holes.  Garcia birdied the first playoff hole to claim the Masters championship.  It was Garcia’s first major win and it could open the door for many more.  He has been close multiple times, but the pressure always seemed to cause a collapse.

An impressive start is important for momentum, but an impressive ending leads to titles!

That will do it for now.  Until next week … take care and God Bless!

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