March 5, 2016
Baseball Takes Series vs. Tusculum With Split on Saturday
SALISBURY, N.C. -- Catawba claimed a series win over Tusculum in South Atlantic Conference baseball action at Newman Park with a doubleheader split on Saturday that levels its league mark. The Catawba Indians came back from a 12-9 loss in the opener to post a 9-5 victory in the nightcap. Catawba improves to 9-8 overall and 3-3 in the SAC, while the Pioneers move to 12-6 and 1-2.
In game two, Catawba used three walks, a couple of wild pitches and a pair of infield hits to snap a 5-5 tie with a four-run fourth. A pair of walks to start the inning chased Tusculum starter Ethan Carpenter. Both runners moved up on a wild pitch on the first offering from reliever Eamon Collins and Chance Bowden (Salisbury, N.C./Salisbury) snapped the tie with RBI single that was knocked down between first and second.
Luke Setzer (Salisbury, N.C./E. Rowan) followed with infield hit up the middle that he beat out at first to score a run. Jake Kimble (Concord, N.C./Mt. Pleasant/Liberty) singled home Bowden and later scored on a wild pitch as Catawba went on top 9-5.
Tusculum had scored in each of the first four innings and threatened again in the fifth. After an error to start the inning for reliever Michael Elwell (Mooresville, N.C./Lake Norman), a pair of two-out walks left the bases loaded. Elwell got the key out by striking out Jeovanny Tolentino looking to end the inning.
In the sixth, Elwell hit a batter and allowed a single with one out before getting out of the inning with a fly out and strikeout. Bryan Blanton (Albemarle, N.C./Albemarle) came on for the seventh and stuck out two, while walking one to lock down the win.
Tusculum had led 1-0 after a half inning before Catawba pushed across four unearned runs in the bottom half. Will Albertson (Sophia, N.C./Randleman/Campbell) reached on an error to start the inning and would score on a two-out wild pitch. Two walks would load the bases and Kimble cleared them with a three-run triple down the right field line.
The Pioneers tied the game in the third when Dante Key greeted Avery Bowles (Thomasville, N.C./E. Davidson) with a two-run homer. After Setzer scored on a wild pitch to put the Indians back up after three, Cole Baxley doubled home a run in the top of the fourth. Catawba then erupted for the big inning.
Bowles (1-0) won the game in relief of Riley Myers (Salisbury, N.C./Salisbury). Elwell tossed two scoreless innings, allowing one hit with a pair of walks and three strikeouts. Kimble drove in four with two hits. Setzer also had two hits and scored twice.
Carpenter (2-2) took the loss for Tusculum, although four of the seven runs he allowed were unearned. He surrendered five hits and walked seven in his three innings with four strikeouts. McKenly Berry finished the game with three shutout innings on one hit.
Tusculum jumped to a 10-3 lead after three innings and held off Catawba for the win in the opener. Creighton Wilke hit two home runs among his four hits and drove in five, while Zach Lippencott and John Topoleski each had three hits. J.J. Wesley connected on a grand slam.
Setzer and Dylan Richardson (Randleman, N.C./Randleman/Appalachian St.) each had three hits and three RBI for Catawba. Setzer hit two home runs. The Indian defense committed five errors that led to four unearned runs.
Wilke connected on a two-run homer in the second and Wesley hit his grand slam in the third as the Pioneers jumped out quickly. Down 11-3 after four, Catawba got a two-run homer from Setzer in the fifth and two-run triple from Richardson in the sixth to pull within 11-7.
Setzer cut the margin to 11-8 in the seventh with his second homer, but it was answered by Wilke in the eighth with his second long ball. Richardson capped the scoring with a homer in the eighth for Catawba. Richardson was a single shy of the cycle.
Catawba travels to Pfeiffer on Tuesday for a 4 pm start before returning to Newman Park to host Lock Haven on Wednesday at 6 pm.
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