April 15, 2016
Albertson's 11th-Inning Homer Lifts Baseball Over C-N
JEFFERSON CITY, Tenn. -- Will Albertson (Sophia, N.C./Randleman/Campbell) led off the 11th with a home run to give visiting Catawba a 2-1 win over Carson-Newman in South Atlantic Conference baseball action on Friday afternoon at the Silver Diamond Baseball Complex. The Catawba Indians improve to 26-15 overall and 14-5 in the SAC, while the Eagles fall to 25-17 and 10-9.
Albertson's home run came after Carson-Newman had several chances to break a 1-1 tie. Brandon Roberts led off the sixth with a triple, but was stranded. Brendan Campbell walked to start the seventh and was sacrificed to second. Gooch Greer followed with a single to left, but Zach Almond (Richfield, N.C./N. Stanly/UNCG) threw out Campbell at the plate to keep the game tied.
In the 10th, Heath Mitchem (Salisbury, N.C./Carson) got the first two outs, but Roberts walked off reliever D.J. Laxton (Asheboro, N.C./E. Randolph). Cade Snapp poked a hit-and-run single through the left to put runners on the corners. Laxton (4-1) came back to get Austin Kearney on a fly out to send the game to the 11th.
Bryan Blanton (Albemarle, N.C./Albemarle) came on for Catawba in the 11th and struck out the side to grab his fifth save. After battling Jimmy Rice through eight pitches, Blanton needed just seven more to retire the last two Eagles.
Carson-Newman broke a scoreless deadlock in the fifth. The Eagles took advantage after an error on a potential inning-ending double play to plate the run. Ryan Addington delivered a two-out single to score Rice, who had led off with a single.
The Indians came right back in the top of the sixth. Chance Bowden (Salisbury, N.C./Salisbury) doubled with one out to extended his hitting streak to 18 games. Bryce Fowler (Greenwood, S.C./Greenwood/Presbyterian) followed with a single up the middle to tie the game.
Shaefer Shepard (Boca Raton, Fla./Boca Raton/Francis Marion) threw eight innings in the no decision. He allowed just one unearned run off seven hits with a pair of walks and seven punch outs. Shepard did some of his best work in the sixth. After the leadoff triple, he got a pop up then following a walk, got a double play ground out to strand the runner.
Albertson joined Bowden, the national leader in doubles, and Fowler with two hits for Catawba. Greer and Snapp had two hits for the Eagles.
Dustin Batson (3-4) took the loss for C-N in tossing a complete game. He fanned 14 over 11 innings and logged 166 pitches. He had sat down 14 Indians in a row before surrendering the eventual game-winning home run to Albertson.
The teams will finish off the three-game series with a doubleheader on Saturday beginning at noon.
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