Baseball Tops LMU in Suspended Game in 10 Innings


KODAK, Tenn. -- Will Albertson (Sophia, N.C./Randleman/Campbell) singled home Jake Kimble (Concord, N.C./Mt. Pleasant/Liberty) with one out in the top of the tenth on Sunday morning as Catawba topped Lincoln Memorial 9-8 in 10 innings to stay unbeaten at the Pilot/Flying J South Atlantic Conference Baseball Tournament at Smokies Park.  The Catawba Indians improve to 33-17 and will await the winner of Carson-Newman and Tusculum for its next contest later on Sunday.  The Railsplitters end their season at 29-20.

Rain had halted the game on Saturday night after LMU had rallied with three runs in the ninth to sent the game to extra innings.  When the game resumed on Sunday, Catawba loaded the bases with one out on a walk to Kimble, a single by Dylan Richardson (Randleman, N.C./Randleman/Appalachian St.) and a walk to Luke Setzer (Salisbury, N.C./E. Rowan).  Albertson pulled a ball between short and third to produce the winning run.

LMU responded with a pair of strikeouts to end the inning as Catawba would strand three.  Connor Johnson (Rockwell, N.C./E. Rowan) worked a perfect ninth for his second save.  After falling behind the first batter 3-0, he got a fly out.  Johnson then recorded a strikeout and a fly out to end the game.

On Saturday, Catawba jumped out to an 8-2 lead after four innings.  Kyle Smith (Greensboro, N.C./Grimsley) drove in a pair of run in a three-run first and Albertson cranked a three-run homer in the fourth to build the lead.

The Railsplitters fought back late.  LMU would chase Catawba starter Sean Grant (Statesville, N.C./W. Iredell) in the seventh after a home run and a single.  Michael Elwell (Mooresville, N.C./Lake Norman), the last of five pitchers in the inning for the Indians, struck out the final batter with the bases loaded and the score trimmed to 8-4.

LMU added a run in the eighth before Bryan Blanton (Albemarle, N.C./Albemarle) stranded two to end the frame.  With the rains falling harder in the ninth, LMU began the rally with one out when Eric Kalman reached on an error.  Two singles and two walks cut the lead to 8-7 with the bases loaded.  Blanton (3-1), who eventually got the win, posted a strikeout, but a walk to Jean Rodriguez tied the game before a pop up sent the game to extra innings.

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