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story.lead_photo.caption MARK HUMPHREY ENTERPRISE-LEADER Lincoln baseball coach Justin Bounds watches as the Wolves' catcher Josh Jetton attempts to throw out a runner stealing second. Lincoln lost 15-1 to Gravette Thursday.

LINCOLN -- Head coach Justin Bounds delivered a message for the Wolves' baseball team as Lincoln's post spring break skid continued with a 15-1 loss to Gravette Thursday.

"I left them with a quote," Bounds said. "You've got to remember in the darkness what you saw in the light."

Bounds paraphrased a quote from Joseph Bayly, former director of InterVarsity press and former president of David C. Cook Publishing.

"Don't forget in the darkness what you learned in the light."

Fundamental truths can be obscured by hard times, but truth remains unchanged when hope feels dim.

Three outs still end an inning.

Base hits score runs.

Win or lose coaches love their players.

That fact shown through in the bottom of the fifth with the Wolves trailing Gravette 15-1 and trying to extend the game. Sophomore Chase Hutchens came up to bat with one out. He swung the bat and made contact, and was well on his way to first appearing to hit a single. The umpires ruled foul saying the ball came off his foot.

Bounds implored the umpires to reverse the call, "It wasn't off his foot. It went off the end of the bat."

"You just took a single away from that kid," Bounds said with disciplined intensity of a father figure advocate.

The umpires didn't see it that way and the game ended very soon after that with three of the next seven pitches resulting in called strikes, including a called strike-three for the second and third outs.

One could almost hear the plea of Obi Wan Kenobi urging a young Luke Skywalker, "Don't be seduced by the dark side of the force."

Players and coaches aren't the only participants in the game of baseball who can benefit from such instruction.

The defeat was Lincoln's third conference loss in as many days and came on the heels of a disappointing 5-4 setback at Gentry Wednesday, April 4, rescheduled from a rain-out Monday, April 2, mixed in with a 12-0 loss at Huntsville Tuesday, April 3.

According to Gravette coach Bryan Bearden the weather is wreaking havock.

"Just everybody in northwest Arkansas is suffering," Bearden said. "We're very lucky to have the facility we have to get ball games in. The weather has been just awful."

Lincoln was originally scheduled to host County Line April 3, but cancelled the game in favor of traveling to Huntsville to take on a conference opponent.

"We lost a very tough ball game at Gentry last night," Bounds said. "That took a lot out of us. I think it showed up today."

In a see-saw battle, Gentry scored 3 runs in the third inning and Lincoln countered with 4 runs in the top of the fourth. Gentry tied the game with a run in the fifth then claimed victory with a two-out run in the bottom of the seventh.

"That was very much a heartbreaker," Bounds said. "Since spring break we've been on a little skid."

The Wolves are 0-4 since March 30 with a 5-game losing streak that began with a March 24 loss to Leflore, Okla. (5-3) in the Ketchum, Okla. tournament. Lincoln's last win came March 23 with a 9-3 victory over Locust Grove, Okla. in the Ketchum tournament.

Prior to the losing streak Lincoln was 5-7 with wins over Green Forest (16-1), West Fork (18-10), Subiaco Academy (6-1), Westville, Okla. (10-2) and Locust Grove, Okla.

On a positive note Bounds said, "We've already got more wins than we had all of last year."

"We've got to remember what we did when we were winning," Bounds said. "We can't lose sight of that."

Gravette starter Jake Carver (2-2) needed only 59 pitches to get through 5 innings. He allowed just 3 hits with no walks and struck out 8.

"He always does a good job of throwing strikes," Bearden said. "The most positive thing about is he's just a freshman so he's getting ready for a big three years."

The Lions jumped out to a 6-1 lead after the first inning and piled on 6 more runs in the third. Carver helped his cause going 3-for-3 at the plate with 6 RBIs. Junior Dillon Hendricks was 2-for-3 with a double and 2 RBIs. Senior Brady Moorman was 3-for-4 with a triple and a run batted in. Four other Lions drove runs in as the team batted .483.

"We've been going in waves the last two or three games," Bearden said. "Our mindset is really getting in line over the last four-or-five games in our approach in the batter's box. It's maybe a little late, but we're getting there."

Sports on 04/11/2018

Print Headline: Wolves Seek To Recall Light

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