May 21, 2016 - 7:54 pm
Yerington’s baseball team had only lost twice all season entering Saturday’s Division III state final.
That intimidatingly low number didn’t faze Lincoln County seniors McClain O’Connor, Nick Vincent and Mike Wood one bit.
The trio combined on a two-hitter, and O’Connor scored three runs in a 6-1 win over the Lions in the second game of the state final at Wooster High in Reno on Saturday.
Wood allowed one hit and no earned runs in 5 2/3 innings a the Lynx earned their first state title since 2006. Lincoln County also beat Yerington 14-9 earlier in the day to force a deciding game. Vincent pitched 3 2/3 quality innings and had three RBIs in the opener.
“I’m feeling so happy and overjoyed for the kids,” Lincoln County coach Raymond Wadsworth said. “For their fight and especially their heart. They left it all on the field. Once we got rolling, and I saw the look in their eyes, Yerington didn’t have a chance. They just weren’t going to lose.”
Wood, who struck out seven, gave up his only hit in the first inning and was pulled in the sixth because of a tournament innings limit. O’Connor came in and was able to get one batter out before his innings limit expired.
The Lynx then handed a 6-1 lead to Vincent in the seventh.
“Those three seniors truly carried the team on their backs in the state tournament,” Wadsworth said. “Nick Vincent came and closed it out. For him to come through like that was incredible.”
The Lynx (23-8) scored two runs in the bottom of the third to take their first lead of the game at 3-1 and added three insurance runs in the fifth.
“I was feeling extremely confident (after the third inning),” Wadsworth said. “I knew Mike had his stuff going, and I knew we would come up with some plays defensively.”
Yerington failed to muster any offense and scored just an unearned run in the first.
“(Wood) was just in a rhythm,” Wadsworth said. “He was nails. He pitched yesterday, so obviously he was tired and sore. But he gave everything he had and it was overpowering.”
Freshman Kobe Walker went 1-for-2 with a double and two RBIs, and Alex Vincent was 1-for-3 with three RBIs for Lincoln County, which also got a double from Frank Toledo.
“I think we kind of deflated them a little after we got that first win,” Wadsworth said. “Especially in the manner we got it. I don’t want to take anything away from Yerington. They’re a great team. We just made more plays than they did.”
Daniel Sciarani and Austin Camarena each went 1-for-3 for Yerington (29-4).
In the opener, O’Connor earned the win after pitching 3 1/3 innings of relief. He also was 3-for-4 with two triples, four runs and four RBIs.
“Truly unbelievable,” Wadsworth said. “His leadership and just his ability to get kids to rally on and off the field. The way he presents himself — doing the little things and going the extra mile. Staying after practice to take grounders and get more work in the cage. He’s been the leader all the way.”
Wood added two RBIs for the Lynx, who grabbed a 7-2 lead after two innings.
Justin Olmstead was 2-for-4 with a double and three RBIs for Yerington.