Baseball

Wharton's Sac Fly Lifts Baseball to 12-inning Win at Aiken

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AIKEN, S.C. -- A sacrifice fly by T.J. Wharton (Lutz, Fla./Bishop McLaughlin HS/Guilford Tech) in the top of the 12th helped ninth-ranked Catawba down host USC Aiken 3-2 in baseball action on Friday night at Hernandez Stadium.  The win improves the Catawba Indians to 39-12, while the Pacers fall to 33-15.

USC Aiken had battled back from a 2-0 deficit with single runs in the eighth and ninth to force extra innings.  In the 12th, Emmitt Carden (Whispering Pines, N.C./Union Pines HS) was hit by a pitch to start the inning and went to second on a passed ball.   Bryan Blanton (Albemarle, N.C./Albemarle HS) sacrificed him to third where he scored on a fly ball to center by Wharton.

The Pacers got singles by Randy Luckett and Cory Bryant to start the bottom of the 12th then Blanton came back with a pair of strikeouts.  Following a walk to Chaz Pal, Blanton got Ty Barkell to fly out to center to end the game.

Blanton posted the win to improve to 2-2.  He tossed two scoreless innings on two hits and a walk with five punch outs.  James Lynch (3-2) took the loss for USCA, tossing three innings of relief and giving up a run on one hit with a pair of strikeouts.

Both starters were electric as they combined for 25 strikeouts.  Craig Brooks (Monroe, N.C./Parkwood HS) pitched into the eighth and allowed a run on seven hits with five walks and a dozen strikeouts for the Indians.  Forrest Koumas went nine innings and scattered five hits while allowing two run for USCA.  He walked none and fanned 13.

Catawba broke a scoreless tie in the sixth.  After a pair of strikeouts to start the inning, Blake Houston (Mt. Ulla, N.C./S. Rowan HS) singled with two outs.  Kyle Smith (Greensboro, N.C./Grimsley HS) followed with a two-run homer.

Aiken finally broke through on Brooks in the eighth.  Tyler Moore started the frame with an infield single and went to second on a ground out.  With two outs, Zack Moon walked and TJ Costen singled to plate Moore and cut the Catawba lead to 2-1.  Ryan McClintock (Matthews, N.C./Providence HS) entered and picked Costen off first to end the inning.

In the ninth, Sean Miller led off with a hit and was sacrificed to second.  After a ground out, Kody Belcher singled to center to score Miller and tie the game.

Catawba managed just six hits and did not draw a walk, but did benefit from the one hit batter which led to the winning run.  Dylan Richardson (Randleman, N.C./Randleman HS/Appalachian St.) had two hits, including a double for the Indians.  Belcher and Luckett each had two of 11 hits for the Pacers, who also walked six times, but left 10 on base.

The teams will finish a two-game series with a 2 pm contest on Saturday.

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August 24

Volleyball vs. UNC Pembroke 11 a.m.

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Volleyball vs. Converse 11 a.m.

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Volleyball vs. West Texas A&M 11 a.m.

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