Baseball

Brooks Helps Baseball Salvage Final Game of LMU Series

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HARROGATE, TN -- Catawba hit four home runs to help salvage the final game of a three-game South Atlantic Conference baseball series with Lincoln Memorial on Saturday afternoon at Hennon Field.  The Railsplitters had won the opener 8-5 before the Catawba Indians took an 8-1 win in the nightcap.  The Indians now stand at 10-11 overall and 6-5 in the SAC.  LMU is 14-6-1 and 10-4.

Catawba avoided the sweep behind the arm of Craig Brooks (Monroe, NC/Parkwood HS) and the power of four home runs.  Paul Kronenfeld (Greensboro, NC/Woodberry Forest HS/Georgia Tech) started with a solo shot in the first then Keaton Hawks (Lexington, NC/E. Davidson HS) and Shaefer Shepard (Boca Raton, FL/Boca Raton HS/Francis Marion) added homers for a 3-1 lead.

Shepard's homer in the fifth started a five-run frame for the Indians.  Before the inning was over Hawks and Julio Zubillaga (China Grove, NC/Carson HS) had both delivered two-run singles.  Dylan Richardson (Randleman, NC/Randleman HS/Appalachian St.) capped the scoring with a homer in the sixth.

While the Catawba bats stayed hot, Brooks finally cooled down the Railsplitters.  The junior upped his record to 3-2 as he gave up just a single run over six innings, scattering five hits with a walk and six strikeouts. 

Hawks, Zubillaga and Richardson each had two hits in the finale.  Hawks picked up three RBI.

In the opener, LMU took a 2-0 lead after an inning on a two-run homer from Kelvin Brito.  The Railsplitters added two more runs in the third and another in the fourth for a 5-1 edge.  Kronenfeld got Catawba within a run with a three-run homer for the Indians in the fifth.

Blake Houston (Mt. Ulla, NC/S. Rowan HS) singled home a Catawba run in the sixth to make it 6-5, but Josh Coker hit a solo homer for LMU in the seventh and Jacob West singled home a run in the eighth to push the Railsplitter lead to 8-5. 

Kronenfeld had two hits and four RBI in the opener for Catawba.  Houston and Malachi Hanes (Charlotte, NC/Butler HS) both had two hits.  Sean Grant (Statesville, NC/W. Iredell) took the loss, allowing seven runs on nine hits over six and a third innings.

Brito and West were among four players with two hits for LMU.  Brito had three RBI.  Zac Butler (3-3) picked up the win with seven innings of work.  He surrendered five runs on 10 hits.  Josh Coker retired the final four batter with a pair of strikeouts to claim his seventh save on the year.

Catawba will travel to Mount Olive on Tuesday for a non-conference game at 5 p.m.

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