Baseball Heads to USC Aiken For Key Regional Games


SALISBURY, N.C. -- The Catawba baseball team will jump back into action this weekend as they travel to USC Aiken for a pair of games.  The Catawba Indians are currently ranked ninth in NCAA II with a 38-12 record.  The Pacers jumped to sixth in the most recent NCAA II Southeast Region poll and sport a 33-14 mark.

Catawba is coming off a pair of losses on Monday at the South Atlantic Conference Tournament.  The Indians had won its first three games to make it to the final day undefeated, but saw Wingate claim two wins to grab the league’s automatic qualifier into the NCAA Regional.

Will Albertson was one of four Indians named to the SAC All-Tournament team as he batted .500 (11-of-22) with two homers and 11 RBI.  With those numbers he set a new Catawba and SAC standard with 25 home runs in a season and also topped the old school record for RBI as he has 87 entering this weekend.

Albertson’s numbers have him ranked second in the nation with .495 average, third with his 25 home runs and first with 87 RBI.  Ryan Uhl, of Indiana, PA, has a national best 29 homers and Michael Logsdon, of West Virginia Wesleyan, is hitting .500 on the year.

Luke Setzer was also named to the all-tournament team as he also swatted a pair of homers and drove in eight runs with a .361 average.  Dylan Richardson (.444 avg., 3 doubles) and Ryan McClintock (2 saves) joined Albertson and Setzer as all-tournament picks.

Craig Brooks and Shaefer Shepard both picked up wins at the conference tournament to run their total on the year to nine.  Only nine times in school history has a pitcher recorded 10 wins in a season.  Brooks could join Nick Lomascolo in reaching double digits in wins twice. 

Brooks, at 9-1, leads NCAA II in strikeouts with 131 over 82 and a third innings which is 14.3 strikeouts per nine innings.  The senior is seventh in the country as he allows just 4.7 hit per nine innings.

USC Aiken had a nine-game winning streak snapped on Sunday as they dropped the final game of a three-game set with Flagler.  The only other two losses for the Pacers in April have come against Newberry and UNC Pembroke.

Aiken is hitting .343 as a team and are led by Ty Barkell, who is hitting .456 with nine doubles, six homers and 43 RBI.  All but one regular starter for the Pacers is hitting over .300.  Kody Belcher has hit nine home runs to lead the squad.  TJ Costen has swiped 25 of the team’s 98 stolen bases.

The regular starting unit of Forrest Koumas, Trevor Hutto and Matt Hissong do not have the best ERAs, but have combined for a 15-10 record.  Koumas is 5-2 despite a 5.20 ERA.  He has fanned 75 in 64 innings.  Hutto has a team-leading six wins with three losses and a 6.05 ERA.  James Lynch has notched seven saves and has a 2.08 ERA out of the pen.

The teams were schedule to meet earlier this year at Catawba, but were rained out.  In 42 previous meetings, USC Aiken holds a 23-19 edge.  The Pacers hold a slight 18-16 edge in games played in Aiken.  USCA has won six of the past 10 overall, while the Indians have taken six of the last 10 at Hernandez Stadium.

After the two games with Aiken, Catawba closes out the regular season with a game at Mount Olive on Monday at 6 p.m.  The Indians will then await on the at-large NCAA selections which will be determined on Sunday, May 10.

Game Notes

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