February 1, 2015
Johnson Pitches Baseball to Split With Belmont Abbey
SALISBURY, N.C. -- Catawba and Belmont Abbey split a baseball doubleheader on Sunday afternoon at Newman Park. Belmont Abbey won the opener 7-5 with the Catawba Indians blanking the Crusaders 6-0 in the nightcap. The Indians are now 2-1 on the year, while the Crusaders are 1-2.
Freshman Connor Johnson (Rockwell, N.C./E. Rowan HS) pitched the Indians to the split, tossing six shutout frames. He allowed only two hits, walked one and fanned eight.
Johnson worked out of his only jam of the day which came in the fourth after the first two Crusaders reached. The southpaw got a force at third on a sacrifice attempt then after a double steal he was able to post a strikeout and a ground out to keep Belmont Abbey off the board with the Indians holding a 1-0 lead.
Richardson continued his strong start to the season with two more hits in the nightcap. T.J. Wharton (Lutz, Fla./Bishop McLaughlin/Guilford Tech) collected three hits.
Catawba was able to push across insurance runs in the later innings. Malachi Hanes (Charlotte, N.C./Butler HS) scored on a wild pitch in the fourth and Dylan Richardson (Randleman, NC/Randleman HS/Appalachian State) singled home two in the fifth. Kyle Smith (Greensboro, N.C./Grimsley HS) capped the scoring with a two-run single in the sixth.
In the opener, Belmont Abbey took advantage of a pair of Catawba errors to score four times in the sixth to grab a 5-2 lead. Starter Harry Ferguson made that stand up with six strong innings. He surrendered just two runs off six hits. He got out of the sixth with a 1-2-3 double play after Catawba had loaded the bases with one out.
Anthony Dimino had three hits and a RBI in win for Belmont Abbey. Josh Genthe had two hits and plated a run, while Lorenzo Wright and Weston Clarke scored twice.
Richardson collected three hits for Catawba in the opener and hit his second home run of the season. Smith had two hits and two RBI. Craig Brooks (Monroe, N.C./Parkwood HS) had a no decision as he left after five. He allowed a single run off one hits with 11 strikeouts.
Catawba travels to Carson-Newman on Friday as the Indians open league play with a three-game set against the Eagles. Friday's game is set to start at 2 p.m.
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