Albertson Homers Twice In Loss To Tusculum


SALISBURY, N.C. -- Tusculum picked up a 6-4 win over 11th-ranked Catawba in South Atlantic Conference baseball action on Friday night at Newman Park.  The Pioneers improve to 27-14 overall and 18-9 in the SAC, while the Catawba Indians fall to 33-10 and 21-6.

Tusculum pushed across two runs in the sixth to snap a 4-4 tie and Devan Watts closed out the game with two and two-thirds innings of scoreless relief for his seventh save.

After a walk and a hit batter started the sixth, Jeremiah Tullidge plated the go ahead run on a ground out to first.  Chris Waylock singled home the final run for the 6-4 edge. 

Watts entered in the seventh with one out and a runner at first and struck out two to end the inning.  He only allowed one base runner, a one-out double by Dylan Richardson (Randleman, N.C./Randleman HS/Appalachian St.) in the eighth.

Catawba jumped out to a 2-0 lead on Will Albertson's (Sophia, N.C./Randleman HS/Campbell) two-run homer in the first.  The Pioneers answered with three runs in the second on three hits, a hit batter and an error.

Albertson tied it in the third with his second home run of the game and 21st of the season.  With two outs in the third, Craig Brooks (Monroe, N.C./Parkwood HS) homered to put the Indians back on top.

Tusculum loaded the bases in the fourth, but Catawba turned a double play to end the inning.  The Pioneers again loaded the bases in the fifth and pushed home the tying run when the Indians could not turn a double play on a grounder by Scott Gibson.

After Brooks' home run in the fourth, Catawba could not find much success off Tusculum starter Placido Torres or Watts.  Torres allowed just four singles after the Brooks homer until he exited in the seventh.  He improved to 6-3, allowing four runs on 10 hits with eight strikeouts.  Watts fanned five in his two and two-thirds innings.

Andrew Bowerman, Jalen Shuffler and John Topoleski each had two hits for the Pioneers.  Albertson, Brooks and Blake Houston (Mt. Ulla, N.C./S. Rowan HS) had two hits for Catawba.  Shaefer Shepard (Boca Raton, Fla./Boca Raton HS/Francis Marion) fell to 8-3 for the Indians.  Five of the six runs he allowed were earned off 10 hits with two walks and two strikeouts.  He also hit three batters.

The teams will complete the regular season with a doubleheader on Saturday at 1 p.m.

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