Baseball Sweeps DH From Wingate To Reach 30 Wins


SALISBURY, N.C. -- Catawba swept a South Atlantic Conference baseball doubleheader from visiting Wingate on Saturday at Newman Park.  The 12th-ranked Catawba Indians won by the scores of 6-2 and 7-6 in eight innings.  Catawba ups its record to 30-7 overall and 19-4 in the SAC.  The Bulldogs fall to 22-15 and 13-14.

Catawba won the nightcap to complete the sweep when Kyle Smith (Greensboro, N.C./Grimsley HS) scored on a wild pitch in the eighth with the bases loaded and no one out.  Smith was hit by a pitch to start the inning and went to third on a single by Will Albertson (Sophia, N.C./Randleman HS/Campbell). 

The Bulldogs intentionally walked T.J. Wharton (Lutz, Fla./Bishop McLaughlin HS/Guilford Tech) to load the bases and set up a force at home.  On the first pitch after the walk, Bulldog pitcher Thomas Young threw wild to home and Smith, who initially hesitated, scored as the ball could not be located quickly.

Catawba had trailed 6-4 going to the bottom of the sixth.  The Indians tied the game on single runs in the sixth and seventh without a hit.  Blake Houston (Mt. Ulla, N.C./S. Rowan HS) walked to start the sixth, went to second on a failed pickoff and stole third.  He scored on Albertson's ground out.  In the seventh, Craig Brooks (Monroe, N.C./Parkwood HS) walked to start the frame.  Two walks around a ground out loaded the bases and Luke Setzer (Salisbury, N.C./E. Rowan HS) plated the tying run on a grounder to second.

The Indians led 3-0 early.  Houston homered to start the Catawba first and doubled home two runs in the second.  Wingate took the lead 5-4 in the fifth on a three-run homer by Colby Barnette.  The Bulldogs went up by 6-4 in the sixth on a pop up by Bill Krebs just in front of the mound that fell between four Catawba players.  The Indians kept the deficit at two when Brooks delivered a relay throw from Bryce Fowler (Greenwood, S.C./Greenwood HS/Presbyterian) to Albertson to gun down Krebs trying to score on a double from Thomas Spitz.

Houston finished the game 3-for-4 with a walk.  Albertson had two hits and is still hitting an even .500 with 19 home runs and 67 RBI on the year.  Spitz had two hits for the Bulldogs and Barnette had four RBI.

Ryan McClintock (Matthews, N.C./Providence HS), who saved game one, notched the win in game two with two innings of scoreless relief to improve to 2-0.  Brandon Dorsey (2-1) took the loss for Wingate.

Catawba won a tightly pitched opener between Brooks and Wingate's Brett Morgan.  The game was scoreless into the fourth until Albertson connected on a home run to left to put the Indians up 1-0.  Catawba added three more runs in the sixth without a hit, using four walks, a hit batter and a sacrifice fly.

The Bulldogs cut their deficit in half in the seventh on back-to-back RBI doubles by Blake Prince and Krebs.  Bryan Blanton (Albemarle, N.C./Albemarle HS) got the Indians out of the inning as he stranded two after giving up the double to Krebs by striking out the final two batters of the frame.

Dylan Richardson (Randleman, N.C./Randleman HS/Appalachian St.) connected a two-run homer in the eighth for the 6-2 Catawba lead.  The Bulldogs put the first two runners on in the ninth before McClintock entered to get a double play ball then another ground out to end it for his sixth save.

Brooks got the win, pitching six and a third innings to improve to 8-1.  He allowed two earned runs off two hits with four walks and eight strikeouts.  Morgan (4-3) took the loss as he pitched into the sixth.

Catawba had only five hits in the opener, but took advantage of four walks, an error and a hit batter.  Richardson picked up three RBI.  The Bulldogs managed just four hits and drew five walks. 

The Indians have now posted at least 30 wins in 16 straight seasons.

Catawba hosts Barton on Tuesday at 6 pm in non-conference action.

Game 1 Box

Game 2 Box

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