March 14, 2015
Albertson Powers Baseball Into First Place With 3-Homer Game
SALISBURY, N.C. -- Catawba’s Will Albertson (Sophia, N.C./Randleman HS/Campbell) hit three home runs in the opener and Shaefer Shepard (Boca Raton, Fla./Boca Raton HS/Francis Marion) threw a complete game in the nightcap in a sweep of Lincoln Memorial in South Atlantic Conference baseball action on Saturday at Newman Park. The 28th-ranked Catawba Indians won by the scores of 6-1 and 3-2 to improve to 18-4 overall and 10-3 in the SAC. The Railsplitters fall to 12-9 and 9-5.
The wins by Catawba over the league co-leader moves the Indians into first place by a half a game over Tusculum. It marked their 16th win in 17 outings. LMU had a nine-game winning streak snapped.
The red hot Albertson, who is 17-for-20 (.850) over the past five games, tied a school record with his three homers in the opener. It was last done by Jerry Sands in April of 2007. The junior finished the opener 5-for-5 and had a hit, a walk and was hit by a pitch in three trips to the plate in game two.
Albertson’s first homer put Catawba on top in the first. The Indians extended the lead in the second on two-out, RBI-singles by Malachi Hanes (Charlotte, N.C./Butler HS) and Blake Houston (Mt. Ulla, N.C./S. Rowan HS) for a 3-0 edge.
In the third, Albertson hit his second home run and Houston added a solo shot in the fifth to stretch the lead to 5-0. LMU got its lone run when Jonathan Lowe homered to start the Railsplitter sixth. Albertson got that back with his record-tying homer in the Catawba sixth.
Craig Brooks (Monroe, N.C./Parkwood HS) went eight innings and allowed just the single run off five hits. He walked two and fanned a dozen in improving to 4-1.
Shepard was nearly perfect in the nightcap except for the fourth inning when LMU picked up three of their four hits to score twice and trim Catawba’s lead to 3-2. The Indians got their lead on a three-run homer by T.J. Wharton (Lutz, Fla./Bishop McLaughlin/Guilford Tech) in the third.
With one out in the fourth, the Railsplitters strung together three straight hits and scored on a single by Logan Augustine. The second LMU run came home when Catawba couldn’t turn a double play off a ground ball from Eric Kalman.
Shepard struck out the last batter of the inning and sat down the final 10 men he faced. The only other batter to reach on the sophomore was Kalman, who doubled with two outs in the second. Shepard, now 5-1, walked none and struck out nine.
Seven of Catawba’s nine batters picked up a hit in the nightcap. Chance Bowden (Salisbury, N.C./Salisbury HS) had two hits, including a double.
Catawba and Lincoln Memorial will wrap up the three-game series on Sunday at 1 p.m.
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