After nearly a two week wait for both teams thanks to inclement weather, Lincoln and Mission didn’t waste much time sending both of their All-League aces to the mound in the Academic Athletic Association opener. Lincoln’s Colson Ryan outlasted Mission’s C.J. Pino in a 2-1 pitcher’s duel at Jackson Playground in The City.
Ryan, a senior, went the distance for the Mustangs, striking out seven and scattering six hits and not allowing a single walk. His senior counterpart, Pino, was equally impressive with eight strikeouts, allowing just five hits.
Two of the hits Pino allowed proved to be the difference. Holding a 1-0 lead in the fourth, Pino gave up a two-strike line drive down the right field line to Anthony Sierra. After an error allowed Sierra to advance to third, Jonathan Won laced a two-out infield single to tie the score at 1-1.
In the fifth, Lincoln All-League utility and All-City football player A.J. Adewusi crushed a 3-2 cutter just inside the left field line. An errant throw to third allowed Adewusi to come around for the go-ahead run.
In the bottom of the sixth, Mission’s J.T. Howell got his second hit of day and advanced to second on a wild pitch. C.J. Pino promptly lined a 1-1 fastball up the middle, where Lincoln center fielder Sierra made a spectacular catch and then doubled off Howell at second to end the Mission threat. In the bottom of the seventh, the Bears’ Nigel De Rigo singled and advanced to second, only to be stranded when Ryan delivered his seventh strikeout of the day.