April 29, 2016
Baseball's Bats Come Alive Late in 11-5 Win Over Wingate
KODAK, Tenn. -- Top-seeded Catawba scored eight runs in its final three at bats to down sixth-seeded Wingate 11-5 on Friday afternoon at the Pilot/Flying J South Atlantic Conference Baseball Tournament at Smokies Stadium. The Catawba Indians improve to 32-17 and advance to play on Saturday at 3:45 against the loser of tonight's game between Tusculum and Lincoln Memorial. The Bulldogs fall to 29-21 and will face an elimination game on Saturday at noon.
Trailing 5-3 heading to the bottom of the sixth, Catawba rallied for the win. With one out in the sixth, Zach Almond (Richfield, N.C./N. Stanly/UNCG) and Jeremy Simpson (Cleveland, N.C./W. Rowan) collected back-to-back doubles to cut the deficit to 5-4. Dylan Richardson (Randleman, N.C./Randleman/Appalachian St.) tied the game when his two-out single fell in front of the Bulldog right fielder.
Will Albertson (Sophia, N.C./Randleman/Campbell) singled to start the Catawba seventh and Malachi Hanes (Charlotte, N.C./Butler) doubled. With one out, Kyle Smith (Greensboro, N.C./Grimsley) put the Indians on top to stay with a two-run double. It marked the last of seven two-baggers for the Indians on the day.
Almond followed Smith's double with his third hit of the day to make it 8-5. Avery Bowles (Thomasville, N.C./E. Davidson) had come on after Shaefer Shepard (Boca Raton, Fla./Boca Raton/Francis Marion) had issued a leadoff walk in the seventh to get a pop up and double play. Bowles (3-0), who would get the win, would allowed a leadoff single then hit a batter to open the eighth.
Heath Mitchem (Salisbury, N.C./Carson) got a pop to the only batter he faced. D.J. Laxton (Asheboro, N.C./E. Randolph) came on to record a fly out then struck out the conference's leading hitter, Shane Billings, to end the threat.
Catawba stretched its lead in the home half of the eighth. Albertson's third hit drove in Luke Setzer (Salisbury, N.C./E. Rowan) and Hanes followed with a blast to right for the 11-5 edge. Clay Young (Greensboro, N.C./Caldwell Academy) tossed a perfect ninth to close the game out.
Hanes joined Almond and Albertson with three hits in a 16-hit Indian attack. Smith and Jake Kimble (Concord, N.C./Mt. Pleasant) each had two hits and two RBI. Bill Krebs and Colby Barnette both had two hits for Wingate.
Setzer's sacrifice fly gave Catawba a 1-0 lead in the third, but Andrew Llewellyn's two-out double in the fourth tied it. Kimble had a two-out, two-run double in the bottom of the fourth before Wingate scored two in the fifth and two in the sixth to get its 5-3 edge. Barnette had a two-run single in the fifth and Bailey Connell a two-run homer in the sixth.
Shepard pitched into the seventh for Catawba without a decision. He worked around seven hits and six walks to allow five runs. He fanned seven. Brandon Donahue (6-4) took the loss as he surrendered six runs on 11 hits over six innings. He walked one and fanned four, coming out after Albertson's leadoff single in the seventh.
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