Baseball Falls to Aiken to Close Regular Season


AIKEN, S.C. -- Catawba dropped its regular-season finale 4-1 against 17th-ranked USC Aiken on Saturday afternoon at Roberto Hernandez Stadium.  The Pacers improve to 36-14, while the Catawba Indians fall to 34-19.

Zach Almond (Richfield, N.C./N. Stanly/UNCG) had a third of Catawba's hits with a single and home run.  His home run tied the game at 1-1 in the top of the fifth.  USCA had taken the lead with three straight singles to open the third off Shaefer Shepard (Boca Raton, Fla./Boca Raton/Francis Marion).  Zach Moon drove in Max Schoen with the run.

USC Aiken answered Almond's home run with a run in the bottom of the fifth.  Tyler Zimmerman singled with one out, went to second on a wild pitch and scored on a double by Jonathan Banks. 

The Indians had just two base runners after the Almond home run which came in the seventh.  Kyle Smith (Greensboro, N.C./Grimsley) singled with one out and went to third on Almond's single.  The Pacers got a strikeout for the second out and the final was recorded when Smith was thrown out at the plate.

Nick Jobst entered for the Pacers to start the eighth and retired five straight batters before Cole Lee came on to get the final out.  Joe Marlow (9-2) picked up the win as he allowed the one run off six hits.  He walked one and fanned five.

Shepard (5-5) took the loss as he pitched into the into the seventh.  He surrendered the four runs on 10 hits.  He walked one and struck out two.  Five relievers closed out the game for the Indians.

Catawba will return to action in regional play on May 19.  The Indians will find out their opponent and the site of the regional when regional pairings are announced by the NCAA at 10 pm on Sunday, May 15.

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