April 6, 2013
Baseball Stays in SAC Race After Sweep of LMU
SALISBURY, NC -- Catawba for the second time on a walk off hit to complete a three-game sweep of visiting Lincoln Memorial in South Atlantic Conference baseball action on Saturday afternoon at Newman Park. The 30th-ranked Catawba Indians won by the scores of 7-3 and 6-5 in eight innings to improve to 30-13 overall and 18-6 in the SAC. The Railsplitters fall to 20-20 and 12-12.
Keaton Hawks (Lexington, NC/E. Davidson HS) was the hero in Friday night’s walk off win, Saturday, in the final game of the series, it was Chris Dula (Troutman, NC/S. Iredell HS), who smacked a one-out single to right to plate Hawks with the winning run in the bottom of the eighth. The Indians had to rally for each win of the series.
Catawba took advantage of a pair of defense miscues by the Railsplitters in the final inning. Hawks reached on a throwing error and Blake Houston (Mt. Ulla, NC/S. Rowan HS) followed with a gift hit to right field that dropped between two fielders. Dula followed with his hit that just eluded a diving Lee Agosto in right.
The Indians had jumped out quickly in game two with a three spot in the opening inning. Five straight Catawba batters reached after an initial out with Paul Kronenfeld (Greensboro, NC/Woodberry Forest HS/Georgia Tech) singled home the first run and Julio Zubillaga (China Grove, NC/Carson HS) plating two more.
Lincoln Memorial rallied behind a two-run homer in the second by Josh Coker and another from Andre Rodriguez in the fifth that gave the Railsplitters a 5-3 lead. Catawba tied it in the bottom half of the fifth on a RBI double from Dula and a sacrifice fly from Kronenfeld.
Both teams had chances in the final innings as Lincoln Memorial loaded the bases in the sixth, but failed to score and had a runner thrown out at the plate in the seventh with a drawn in infield. Catawba left three runners in scoring position in the two innings prior to Dula’s winner.
Houston had four hits in the game two win for Catawba. Dula had three hits and two RBI. Coker had three hits and three RBI for LMU, while Rodriguez had two hits and two RBI.
LMU jumped out to a 3-0 lead after two and a half innings of the opener. Nolan Woody singled home a run in the second, while Rodriguez had a RBI double in third to go along with a run-scoring single from Nick Pressley. Catawba pulled even after four innings after Hawks hit a two-run homer in the third and Kronenfeld a solo shot in the fourth.
The Indians scored the final runs of the game in a four-run fifth. With two outs, a Houston walk and Dula single preceded a single from Kronenfeld that put Catawba on top 4-3. Following another walk, Zubillaga cleared the bases with a three-run double and a 7-3 edge.
John Tuttle (Kannapolis, NC/Brown HS) pitched eight innings to grab the win and improve to 8-4. He allowed only one earned run off 10 hits with no walks and eight strikeouts. Kronenfeld and Hawks each had two hits and two RBI. Rodriguez and Curt Fuqua collected three hits for LMU, while Coker added two more hits.
Catawba is set to host nationally ranked USC Aiken on Tuesday night at 6 p.m. for its next contest.
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