Lincoln baseball off to a 4-0 start

Published 2:01 pm Thursday, March 30, 2017

In the first week of its season, the Lincoln County High School baseball team passed every test with flying colors.
The Bat Patriots, led by first-year coach Tee Ellis, started the season 4-0 for the first time since … well no time could be found for a 4-0 start in records dating back over 20 years.
Ellis, a former Lincoln assistant coach, says focus is the key to the team’s strong start.
“The boys are staying focused each at bat, and that’s why they’re scoring runs. And we’ve had good starting pitching,” Ellis said. “In baseball, you have to focus every pitch – offense and defense – and that has been the key to our early success.”
On opening day, it was the Noah Horton show as he pitched a no-hit, 10-0 shoutout of visiting Richmond Model. Horton gave up just one walk with 14 strikeouts in the complete-game win (6 innings). 
The Bat Patriot battery connected for 13 hits off three pitchers, with Josh Caudill leading the way with three hits. Hunter Jeffries, Parker Monhollen, Garrett Clem and Cooper Brown each had two hits, with Clem, Brown and Luke Smith each getting a double.
There would be no cakewalk in Lincoln’s second outing at Rockcastle County, with the host Rockets, coached by former Bat Pat head man Brad McNew, challenging before Lincoln pulled out the 10-9 victory. (No statistics were available from the Rockcastle-Lincoln game).
The Bat Patriots followed the Rockcastle win with another road win, beating host East Jessamine 8-5 in their third outing.
The Jaguars scored four runs in the sixth inning to whittle a 5-0 deficit down to 5-4 only to have the Bat Pats reclaim the lead in the top of the seventh. Luke Smith and Hunter Jeffries got Lincoln started in the seventh with back-to-back singles before Horton connected for a one-out 2-RBI double to put the Bat Pats up to stay. 
Smith led the way with three hits. Jeffries, Horton and Devin Lawhorn all had two hits. 
Horton gave up one run in five innings up then Wyatt Hon came in in the seventh for his second save in as many opportunities.
Horton had a four-RBI day in the Bat Patriots’ fourth straight win, connecting for three of Lincoln’s nine hits in an 8-4 win at Russell County.
The Lincoln varsity scored on a fielder’s choice by Parker Monhollen in the first inning, a home run by Horton in the first, a groundout in the second inning and a single by Horton in the second.
Jared Long earned the win, giving up four runs and nine hits with two strikeouts in six innings on the mound. Hunter Jeffries got the last three outs to earn the save for the Bat Patriots.
Smith also had two hits against Russell County.
The Bat Pats went for win number five Wednesday in their 45th District opener at Danville. The game was rescheduled from Tuesday. The Danville Admirals are currently 5-3.