Baseball Sweeps Doubleheader At Coker


HARTSVILLE, S.C. -- Catawba ran its league winning streak to 11 games in sweeping host Coker in South Atlantic Conference baseball action on Saturday afternoon at New Field.  The 17th-ranked  Catawba Indians won by the scores of 5-4 and 7-2 to improve to 26-5 overall and 16-3 in the SAC.  The Cobras fall to 10-19 and 4-13.

Catawba rallied to take the opener, scoring twice in the seventh to overcome a 4-3 deficit.  The Indians posted five runs in the final frame of game two to snap a 2-2 tie en route to the sweep.

After four scoreless innings in game one, Catawba took advantage of a pair of Coker errors to plate a pair of runs.  The Cobras answered and took the lead in the bottom half of the inning on a two-run single by Miguel Frias.

Catawba tied it in the sixth on a single by Will Albertson (Sophia, N.C./Randleman HS/Campbell), but Coker got the run right back on a two-out single from Alex Rodriguez.  Catawba started the seventh with back-to-back singles from Chance Bowden (Salisbury, N.C./Salisbury HS) and Luke Setzer (Salisbury, N.C./E. Rowan HS).  Blake Houston (Mt. Ulla, N.C./S. Rowan HS) tied it on sacrifice fly and Kyle Smith (Greensboro, N.C./Grimsley HS) drove in the winning run with a two-out single.

Shaefer Shepard (Boca Raton, Fla./Boca Raton HS/Francis Marion) picked up the win.  He worked into the seventh to improve to 7-1.  Sean Grant (Statesville, N.C./W. Iredell HS) logged an inning a third of relief and surrendered just one hit.  Ryan McClintock (Matthews, N.C./Providence HS) notched his fifth save with the final inning and a third.  He also allowed just one hit.

Setzer posted three hits for Catawba.  Smith and Albertson each had two hits, while Houston collected two RBI.  Dustin Russell had three hits for the Cobras.  Forrest Arnold (2-7) took the loss, tossing a complete game.  Only three of the runs allowed were earned and he posted six strikeouts without a walk.

Game two was tied going into the seventh when the Indians erupted for five runs.  Smith delivered a two-run triple with one out to put Catawba on top.  T.J. Wharton (Lutz, Fla./Bishop McLaughlin HS/Guilford Tech) doubled two more home before Craig Brooks (Monroe, N.C./Parkwood HS) capped the scoring on a RBI single.

Bryan Blanton (Albemarle, N.C./Albemarle HS) got the win in relief of Connor Johnson (Rockwell, N.C./E. Rowan HS).  Blanton (1-0) went the final inning and two-thirds and gave up no runs on a hit with three strikeouts.  Johnson fanned nine in five and a third innings and allowed two earned run on four hits.

Wharton had three hits in the win.  Bowden drove in the first two Catawba runs with singles in the second and fourth.  Smith and Brooks also had two hits.

Russell and Tyler Osik had two hits for Coker.  Ryan Milner (2-2) went the distance for the Cobras and posted two strikeouts.

The teams will finish up the three-game series on Sunday at 1 p.m.

Game 1 Box

Game 2 Box

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