Hawks' Two-Out Walk Off Single Lifts Baseball Past LMU


SALISBURY, NC -- Junior Keaton Hawks (Lexington, NC/E. Davidson HS) delivered a two-out, two-run walk off single in the bottom of the night to lift Catawba to a 6-5 win over South Atlantic Conference opponent Lincoln Memorial in baseball action on Friday evening at Newman Park.  The 30th-ranked Catawba Indians improve to 28-13 on the season and 16-6 in the SAC.  The Railsplitters fall to 20-18 and 12-10.

Lincoln Memorial had snapped a 4-4 tie on a solo home run by Josh Coker (Murphy, NC) in the top of the ninth, but that only served to set the stage for Hawks' heroics.  Julio Zubillaga (China Grove, NC/Carson HS) started the bottom of the ninth inning with a walk.  That chased LMU starter Brandon Cowen (Tequestra, FL), who had allowed just six hits over eight frames with nine strikeouts, but he had amassed 135 pitches. 

Zubillaga advanced to second on a sacrifice by Cameron Cockman (Pleasant Garden, NC/SE Guilford HS/UNC Wilmington) and went to third on a groundout.  Craig Brooks (Monroe, NC/Parkwood HS) kept the inning alive with a walk and gave way to pinch-runner Blake Houston (Mt. Ulla, NC/S. Rowan HS).  Houston would steal second before Hawks hit his walk off to shallow center field. 

Nick Lomascolo (Mooresville, NC/Lake Norman HS) earned the win for Catawba to improve to 8-2, tossing 132 pitches.  He allowed five runs, three earned, off eight hits with a walk and 10 strike outs.  Coker took the loss for Lincoln Memorial in relief.

The Railsplitters jumped on top in the second with an RBI single by Coker to bring in Nick Morabito (Vienna, VA).  Morabito reached based on a Catawba error and advanced to third after a second Catawba error. 

LMU added two more runs in the third after Lomascolo struggled to handle a pair of bunts to load the bases with none out.  Curt Fuqua (Jackson, TN) capitalized with an RBI single.  Andre Rodriguez (Caguas, PUERTO RICO) would hit into a double play, but plated the second Railsplitter run of the inning.

Cockman got the Indians on the board in the fifth with a two out solo homerun to left field.  Lincoln Memorial got that run back in the seventh.  In the bottom half of the inning Catawba rallied with two outs.  Singles by Cockman and Cameron Beard (Conover, NC/Bunker Hill HS) set the stage for pinch-hitter Zach Smith (Salisbury, NC/E. Rowan HS/Pitt CC), who tied the game with a three-run homer to left.

Cockman was the lone Indians with more than one hit as he collected two on the night and scored twice.  Coker had three hits for LMU and scored twice. 

Catawba returns to action on Saturday as the Indians host Lincoln Memorial for a double header at Newman Park starting at 1 p.m.  Saturday will be marked as Senior Day at Catawba to recognize its senior members for their career with the baseball team.

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