April 25, 2015
Albertson's Record-Tying Home Run Helps Lift Baseball Over LMU
FOREST CITY, N.C. -- Catawba junior Will Albertson (Sophia, N.C./Randleman HS/Campbell) tied both the Catawba and South Atlantic Conference record with his 24th home run of the season to help lift the top-seeded Catawba Indians to a 9-7 win over Lincoln Memorial at the SAC Baseball Tournament on Saturday at McNair Field. Catawba improves to 37-10 and moves on to face either Newberry or Tusculum on Sunday at 3:45 pm. The Railsplitters fall to 24-22 and are eliminated from the tournament.
The Indians trailed 3-1 entering the fifth inning and had just one hit off LMU starter Grant Painter. Dylan Richardson (Randleman, N.C./Randleman HS/Appalachian St.) and Chance Bowden (Salisbury, N.C./Salisbury HS) started the frame with singles and Luke Setzer (Salisbury, N.C./E. Rowan HS) walked to load the bases.
Grayland Fowler (Moore, S.C./Dorman HS) singled home a run and Blake Houston (Mt. Ulla, N.C./S. Rowan HS) hit a sacrifice fly to tie the game. After a fly out, Albertson stepped in and drove a 2-1 pitch out to left to put Catawba on top 6-3.
The Indians added three more runs in the sixth. Fowler singled home another run and pinch-hitter Malachi Hanes (Charlotte, N.C./Butler HS) drove a ball to the wall in right for a sacrifice fly. Albertson got the final run in on an infield single.
The Railsplitters fought back. Jonathan Lowe and Scott Miller singled home runs in the sixth to close the gap to 9-5. In the eighth, LMU rallied with two outs to get the go-ahead run to the plate. Miller doubled home a run and Nick Morabito singled in Miller to make it 9-7. Bryan Blanton (Albemarle, N.C./Albemarle HS) fanned clean up hitter Kyle Floyd to end the inning.
Ryan McClintock (Matthews, N.C./Providence HS) pitched a perfect ninth to keep Catawba undefeated in the tournament. It was the senior's seventh save of the year.
Shaefer Shepard (Boca Raton, Fla./Boca Raton HS/Francis Marion) improved to 9-3 with the win. He had allowed a three-run homer to Ryan Burleson in the second, but kept LMU off the board over the next three frames as Catawba rallied. He went seven innings and gave up five runs off 10 hits with five strikeouts. Sean Grant (Statesville, N.C./W. Iredell HS) and Blanton got through the eighth to get the ball to McClintock.
Albertson finished with three hits and four RBI and is now just one RBI shy of Jerry Sands' season record. Fowler had two hits and two RBI, while Richardson and Bowden each had two hits and scored twice.
Painter (5-5) took the loss for LMU. He went four and two-thirds innings and gave up six runs on six hits. Burleson threw three innings of one-hit relief to give Lincoln Memorial a chance to rally. Lowe and Miller each had three hits for the Railsplitters. Wes Neiderland had two hits.
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