Baseball gets split in season-opening league doubleheader

WINGATE, N.C. -- Wingate and visiting Catawba split a South Atlantic Conference baseball doubleheader on Saturday afternoon at Ron Christopher Stadium and Plyler Athletic Field on the Wingate campus. Wingate took the opener 8-5, while the Indians won the second game 8-1. The Bulldogs now stand at 7-15 overall and 1-1 in the SAC. Catawba is 13-10 overall and 1-1 in the SAC. In the opener, Wingateís Shaughn Neal (Matthews, N.C.) and Tim Bowman (Low Gap, N.C.) had three hits each and one home run each to lead the hosts to an 8-5 win. The Bulldogs scored three runs in the bottom of the sixth inning to take the lead for good. Kirk Matthews (East Bend, N.C.) had a RBI single and Bowman hit home run to stake the Bulldogs to a 6-3 advantage. Catawba responded with two runs in the top of the seventh frame to cut the Wingate edge to 6-5. David Thomas (Winston-Salem, N.C.) singled and advanced to third on an error. After a walk to Zach Evans (Greensboro, N.C.) and a strikeout, Jimbo Davis (Salisbury, N.C.) hit a sacrifice fly to score Thomas. Matt Smith (Browns Summitt, N.C.) singled to move Evans to third. Evans scored on the same play as a result of a WU fielding error. The Bulldogs added two insurance runs in the bottom of the eighth inning, thanks to a two-RBI double by freshman pinch-hitter Dan Brooks (Monroe, N.C.). The hosts had 12 hits in game one. Neal hit his first home run of the season to start Wingateís scoring in the bottom of the fourth inning. Neal was three-for-four with a home run and one RBI. Bowman was three-for-four with a home run and two RBI. Four players had two hits each for Catawba. Wingate junior right-hander Chad Yow (Stanfield, N.C.) picked up the victory for the Bulldogs. Yow allowed five runs (four earned) on 10 hits in eight innings of work. The West Stanly High School product struck out six and walked three. Bulldog senior reliever Matt Trent (Roanoke, Va.) notched his third save with three strikeouts in the bottom of ninth inning. In the nightcap, Catawba took an 8-1 win to snap a seven-game losing streak. Indian junior first baseman Aaron Rimer (Salisbury, N.C.) was two-for-four with a home run and four RBI in game two. Junior designated hitter Jimbo Davis (Salisbury, N.C.) was two-for-four with a home run and two RBI. Davis has eight home runs this season. Catawba scored five runs in the top of the third inning to break the second game open. Davis opened the scoring for the Indians in the top of the second inning, blasting his eighth home run of the season over the right field fence. In the third inning, Catawba scored five runs on five hits and one Wingate error. Rimer had a two-RBI single in the third frame. Davis plated a run with a single. The Indians sent 10 batters to the plate in the top of the third inning. Rimer notched his fourth home run of the season in the top of the seventh (and last) inning to give the Indians a touchdown cushion. Rimerís home run scored Matt Smith, who had started the inning with a double. Thomas was three-for-five with one run scored for Catawba in game two. Rimer and Davis had two hits each for the visitors. Catawba senior left-handed pitcher Jeff Abdelnour (Cohoes, N.Y.) pitched a complete game four-hitter in game two. Abdelnour struck out eight and walked only two. He gave up two singles and two doubles. #####

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