Seven-Run First Sends Baseball Past Shippensburg 12-4


SALISBURY, N.C. -- Catawba rode a seven-run first to post a 12-4 win over visiting Shippensburg in baseball action on Monday at Newman Park.  The 28th-ranked Catawba Indians improve to 16-4 with their 14th win in 15 outings.  The Red Raiders fall to 3-8.

A trio of Catawba batters picked up three hits.  Blake Houston (Mt. Ulla, N.C./S. Rowan HS), Will Albertson (Sophia, N.C./Randleman HS/Campbell) and T.J. Wharton (Lutz, Fla./Bishop McLaughlin/Guilford Tech) were the catalysts for the Indian offense.  Albertson was coming off back-to-back four hit outings.

Shippensburg started off with the lead as Mike Marcinko sent the first pitch of the game over the right field wall for a 1-0 Red Raider lead.  Catawba struck right back with a seven spot in the bottom of the inning.

It was the first seven men who reached base and scored for Catawba.  Houston led off with a single and after a walk to Grayland Fowler (Moore, S.C./Duncan HS), Albertson put Catawba on top with a double off the left field wall.  Wharton followed with a home run and it was 4-1.

The Indians went on top 11-1 in the fourth on a solo home run from Malachi Hanes (Charlotte, N.C./Butler HS).  Marcinko hit another first pitch for home run to lead off the sixth and Shippensburg added two in the seventh on a single from Austin Allison to trim the deficit to 11-4.  Catawba's pen shut the door from there, allowing just one more Red Raider baserunner, a two-out single by Marcinko in the ninth.

Marcinko collected four of the eight Shippensburg hits.  Allison had two hits.

Connor Johnson (Rockwell, N.C./E. Rowan HS) improved to 4-0 with the win.  He allowed a run on four hits in five innings.  He walked none and fanned six.  Albertson, Wharton, Hanes and Chance Bowden (Salisbury, N.C./Salisbury HS) each drove in two runs.

Catawba will host SAC co-leading Lincoln Memorial this weekend with the Indians only a half game back in the standings.  The teams have shifted the series to a Saturday start with a 3 pm doubleheader.  The Friday game has been moved to Sunday at 1 pm.

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