By Jordan Georgeson
The Lincoln Potters found their way back into the win column tonight with a 9-4 victory over the Walnut Creek Crawdads. It was a huge victory for the local nine, as it catapulted them into second place in the California Collegiate League North Division. The win could not have come at a better time for the Potters, who dropped the first two games after the all-star break.
Potter manager Ryan Stevens weighed in on the team’s cold start following the break, especially after winning seven straight heading into the days off.
“It's hard, man. I mean you take that little bit of break when you're playing really well. You want to keep going when you're playing well,” said Stevens. “We played two pretty good ballgames when we lost and you know it's a testament to how hard these guys work to come out here tonight and put another good one together and find ourselves on the winning end.”
Walnut Creek threw its ace on the mound but the Lincoln bats were unphased, putting up four runs in the first two innings. Trey Furrey (Oklahoma Baptist) opened up the scoring with an RBI single in the first. Nick Poss (Santa Clara) and JT Waldon (Folsom Lake College) combined for three runs batted in in the second with a single and double respectively.
Walnut Creek inched closer several times with rallies in the fourth, fifth, and ninth but Lincoln was able to respond with runs of its own to seal the win.
Nolan McCarthy (Kentucky) continued his dominance on both sides of the ball with a 2 for 4 night that included two runs batted in. McCarthy also flashed the leather multiple times, including a diving catch in center field in the eighth inning.
“Nolan’s a great player,” said Stevens. “He's kind of that five tool player where he can run, hit, field, and throw. He's kind of been our guy since he got here and you know, I’m happy to see it all come together.”
Anthony Perez (Cal State East Bay) returned to the mound after two weeks off and didn’t miss a beat. He was the winning pitcher in 4.2 innings of work, striking out three in the contest and allowing just three hits. Perez didn’t allow a hit until the fourth inning.
The committee of Alex Dargan (USC), Evan Odin (Sierra), and Jake Torres (Sierra) combined to finish the game and preserve the victory for the Potters.
Lincoln will play two tomorrow on the road against the Solano Mudcats. The first game will begin at 11:00 a.m. with the second one beginning following the conclusion of the first.
Stevens offered his thoughts on the challenge of managing a doubleheader late in the season in the middle of a playoff race.
“It's hard to do. You want to give guys time off because it's hard to ride guys for two games tomorrow, but they're big games for us,” Stevens said. “We know we only only got a couple of weeks left so guys are gonna have to step up and play tomorrow.”
You can find tonight’s box score here.
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