The North Lincoln Knights bounced back from a first-round scare and breezed past Wilkes Central 10-0 on Friday night in the second round of the North Carolina High School Athletic Association 2A baseball playoffs in Lincolnton.
No. 2 seed North Lincoln, which notched its 20th win of the spring, needed a seventh-rally to defeat No. 31 Central Academy on Tuesday night but Friday was a much different story.
The Knights scored in four of the five innings and had four of their 10 hits go for extra bases, inlcuding Jake Quilla’s solo home run in the bottom of the second for the first run of the game.
But No. 15 Wilkes Central (17-7) had a golden opportunity to either tie or take the lead in the top of third when it loaded the bases with one out behind a Jonah Brooks single and infield singles from Hayden Dice and Noah Johnson.
Skylar Brooks was up next but grounded to third baseman Jack Carter, who threw home to force out Jonah Brooks. The Eagles would leave the bases loaded as Ethan Adams hit into a fielder’s choice to end the inning and what turned out to be Central’s only offensive threat of the game.
Landon Perry had the Eagles’ only other base hit of the game — a single to lead off the top of the fifth.
The Knights took control of the game as they scored three runs in each of the next three innings. The game ended with one out in the bottom of the fifth when Matt Heavner and Jake Soorus drew bases loaded walks.
Johnson took the loss as he allowed seven runs (four earned) on six hits with two walks and a strikeout in 3 2/3 innings of work.
Seth Whitley, who had an RBI double in the third inning, picked up the win on the mound.
Quilla and Landon Reeves led the way for the Knights, who will host No. 23 West Stokes in the third round on Tuesday, with two hits apiece.