The Lincoln County baseball team is off to a 4-3 start after the first two weeks of the 2005 season.
The Red Devils have victories over Greene County, Crescent, Athens Christian and Washington-Wilkes with the three losses coming at the hands of Social Circle and Putnam County. Through seven games the Red Devils have played very consistent defense with timely hitting. The pitching has been inconsistent.
Head Coach Billy Beale said that “we have thrown the ball very good in the wins and the second loss to Social Circle but had trouble with control in the two losses to Putnam County and Social Circle last Saturday.” Leading hitters for the Red Devils have been Brandon Barden, Cordarryl Coppin, Danny Williford and Tyler Beale. Defensive leaders have been infielders Williford, Beale, Barden and Dontai Parks along with catcher Cody Beggs and outfielders Austin Reed and Coppin. Coach Beale stated that “I think the pitching will be much more consistent as the weather improves. We’ve had a difficult time getting three days in a row outside for the pitchers to work.”
The Devils are currently playing senior Dontai Parks at first base, senior C J Norman, sophomore Tyler Beale and senior Danny Williford at second base and shortstop with sophomore Brandon Barden playing third base. The outfield has been junior Casey Norman in left, senior Cordarryl Coppin in center and junior Austin Reed in right while senior Cody Beggs is doing the catching. Sophomore Alex Bradford has turned into an excellent all-around player while playing all three infield positions and all three outfield positions. Freshman Austin Goldman has been the designated hitter. Pitchers have been Williford, Beale, Barden, Coppin, Reed and Casey Norman.
Lincoln County 22, Greene County 1
Williford, Barden and Beale combined for a two-hitter as the Red Devils opened the season with a huge victory over Greene County. Leading hitters were Beale and Barden while C J Norman, Kiece Crite, Bradford and Williford all hit doubles.
Lincoln County 19, Crescent 12
The Red Devils pounded out nineteen runs on nineteen hits to record their first ever victory over Crescent. Coppin had three hits to lead the Devils while Beale, Williford and Barden all had two hits. Coppin, Dontai Parks, and Beggs all hit doubles and Beale hit a three run homer to put the Devils ahead to stay. Williford picked up his second win in a relief appearance.
Putnam County 17, Lincoln County 7
Wildness from the pitchers led to the Devils downfall as they lost their first game of the season. Beale and Goldman each had two hits and Coppin hit a home run.
Social Circle 10, Lincoln County 4
Barden pitched four strong innings and had Lincoln County in the lead until the fifth inning. Barden was lifted because of the weather and two relief pitchers could not finish the job as the Devils lost for the second time Saturday afternoon. Leading hitters were Barden and Beale with two hits each.
Lincoln County 3, Athens Christian 1
Beale pitched a two-hitter and struck out nine to lead the Devils over Athens Christian. Barden reached on an error in the second inning and went around to score on three consecutive passed balls. Alex Bradford singled to lead off the third and advance to third on Williford’s single. He then scored on a single by Beale. The last run came in the top of the sixth. Barden again got on following an Athens Christian error and scored on Parks' double. Rightfielder Reed played the defensive game of the young season as he threw a runner out at the plate and made an outstanding play against the fence an inning later to start a double play.
Social Circle 6, Lincoln County 1
Social Circle got the best of the Devils for the second time in a week as the Devils let the wind affect a strong pitching performance by Coppin. Williford and Barden got the only hits for Lincoln County.
Lincoln County 8, Washington-Wilkes 7
Casey Norman drew a bases loaded walk in the bottom of the last inning to lead the Devils to a hotly contested win over the Tigers. Pitcher Barden kept the Devils close to the Tigers all afternoon in a game that swung back and forth. Reliever Reed retired all four hitters that he faced to pick up his first victory as a varsity pitcher. Williford had three hits and Goldman had two to lead the Red Devils hitters. Williford also had a home run and a double and Parks added a double.
Thanks to Coach Billy Beale (text) and David Matthews (photos)