Baseball

Baseball Travels To Barton For Mid-Week Action On Tuesday

15_BB_Whartontag1stLMU

SALISBURY, N.C. – Catawba will step out of league play and travel to Barton on Tuesday for a match-up with the Bulldogs at Nixon Field at 2 pm.  The Catawba Indians, now 19-4, moved up to 24th in the latest Collegiate Baseball Poll and have won 17 of their last 18 games.

Catawba is coming off a sweep of Lincoln Memorial last weekend and the three wins catapulted the Indians to the top of the South Atlantic Conference standings.  The Indians lead Tusculum by a game in the standings.

Will Albertson had a huge week for the Indians.  He batted .800, going 12-for-15 and set a school record over the four games by reaching base safely 14 straight times.  On Saturday, in the opening game with the Railsplitters, the junior connected on three home runs which tied a school mark.  In a recent stretch, Albertson picked up 20 hits in 22 at bats.

The recent hot streak vaulted Albertson to the league lead in batting average (.417), on base pct. (.542), slugging pct. (.839) and home runs (9).  Also hitting over four hundred for Catawba is T.J. Wharton (.440) and Blake Houston (.420).  Houston has a current 11-game hitting streak.

Catawba has been solid on the mound with a 2.76 team ERA.  Craig Brooks is 4-1 with a 1.59 ERA and has posted 64 strikeouts in 45 and a third innings.  Opponents are hitting just .138 against the senior.  Shaefer Shepard has posted a 5-1 mark with a 2.79 ERA.  He has fanned 43 in 42 innings. 

Barton enters the game with 11-12 record, but are coming off a weekend that saw the Bulldogs take two of three from then #2-ranked Mount Olive.  Barton won the opening two games by the scores of 5-3 and 12-3 before falling 6-2 in the finale.

Avery Harper had three hits to back a complete game from Zach Breen in the opener.  Breen allowed just two earned runs off seven hits with seven strikeouts.  Tyler Garrett and Spiers Miller each drove in three in the game two win.

Miller leads the regulars in hitting with a .370 average and 21 RBI.  Garrett is hitting .367 and has swiped nine bases.  Breen (3-1) and Brandon Warren (5-2) have been the top starters for the Bulldogs.  Breen has a 3.16 ERA and has also earned a save.  Warren has a 3.79 ERA.

The teams have a long history, meeting for the first time in 1926 when Barton was known as Atlantic Christian.  The Indians hold a 91-49 edge in the series and have won eight of the last 10.  After dropping the initial two games to the Bulldogs in 1926, Catawba went on to win 33 of the next 34 in the series.

Catawba stays on the road this weekend for a SAC series at Anderson.  The opener is set for Friday at 6 pm.

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