Baseball

Nine-Run Fourth Propels Baseball to Win Over Belmont Abbey

13_BB_ZubillagaJulioBA

SALISBURY, NC -- Catawba scored nine times in the bottom of the fourth and held on to top Belmont Abbey 12-10 in baseball action on Tuesday night at Newman Park.  The 23rd-ranked Catawba Indians improve to 34-14, while the Crusaders fall to 26-13-1.

The Indians got three hits each from Chris Dula (Troutman, NC/S. Iredell HS) and Ethan Satterfield (Madison, McMichael HS) and three RBI from Dula and Julio Zubillaga (China Grove, NC/Carson HS) in the win.  Satterfield scored three runs, while Blake Houston (Mt. Ulla, NC/S. Rowan HS) had two hits and scored twice.

Belmont Abbey went on top in the first after a leadoff triple from Emilio Pagan and a sacrifice fly from Ryan Allen.  The Crusaders went up 4-0 in the fourth, benefiting from a Catawba error.  The wheels fell apart for the visitors in the bottom of the inning as Catawba sent 13 men to the plate.

Satterfield started the scoring with a one-out solo home run.  A double from Zubillaga was followed by three walks to force home a run.  After a strikeout, another walk made it 4-3 and when Dula beat out a check swing grounder the game was tied.  The next two Catawba batters were hit by pitches to force in runs before Zubillaga capped the frame with his second double to clear the bases.

The Crusaders picked up three runs in the fifth, but Dula doubled home a pair for Catawba in the bottom half to lead 11-7.  Pagan connected on a three-run homer to pull the Crusaders within 11-10 in the sixth, but Sean Grant (Statesville, NC/W. Iredell HS) got the Indians out of the inning and pitched a shutout seventh.

The Indians were able to add an insurance run in the sixth when Satterfield scored on a wild pitch and John Tuttle (Kannapolis, NC/Brown HS) worked out of a jam in the eighth for the Indians.  After giving up a double to put runners at second and third with no outs, Tuttle responded with a strikeout and a groundout to keep Catawba on top.  Ryan McClintock (Matthews, NC/Providence HS) pitched a 1-2-3 ninth for his ninth save.

Pagan had two hits, scored three runs and had three RBI to lead Belmont Abbey.  Kennan Stanley and John Pilla also had a pair of hits.

Catawba will next be in action at the South Atlantic Conference Tournament on Thursday at Forest City, NC.  The top-seeded Indians will face Carson-Newman at noon.

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