March 18, 2017
Coble's Three Homers Help Baseball Take Two From Wingate
SALISBURY, N.C. -- Catawba came away with two wins over visiting Wingate on Saturday afternoon in South Atlantic Conference baseball action at Newman Park. The Catawba Indians finished off Friday night’s halted game with a 6-0 win then topped the Bulldogs 5-2 in day’s second game. Catawba improves to 18-7 overall and 9-2 in the SAC, while Wingate falls to 13-14 and 4-4.
Catawba led Friday’s opener 3-0 when rain halted the game after four innings. Zach Almond (Richfield, N.C./N. Stanly/UNCG) cashed in on a Wingate error with a two-out, two-run double to put the Indians up 2-0 in the third. Nick Coble (Concord, N.C./Mt. Pleasant/Florence-Darlington) homered in the fourth.
Russ Weiker (Albemarle, N.C./S. Stanly/Liberty) hurled four strong innings, allowing just a hit with a walk and six strikeouts, but would not get a decision. Connor Johnson (Rockwell, N.C./E. Rowan) picked up where Weiker left off on Saturday, finishing off the combined shutout with five scoreless frames. He improved to 3-1 as he scattered three hits with a walk and seven strikeouts.
Catawba scored the only runs in the completed game. Luke Setzer (Salisbury, N.C./E. Rowan) walked to force home a run in the sixth, while Coble and Kyle Smith (Greensboro, N.C./Grimsley) homered in the seventh. Almond finished with three hits.
The Indians completed the sweep by scoring all five of its runs in game two via home runs. Setzer led off the home first with his team-leading 11th of the year and Ben Bomberger (Manheim, Pa./Manheim Central/Coastal Carolina) snapped a 1-1 tie with a two-run homer in the second.
Smith added a solo homer in the third to up the lead to 4-1, but the Bulldogs pulled within 4-2 on sacrifice fly by Ty Andrus in the fifth. Cody Fitch (Shelby, N.C./Shelby/UNCG) helped get the Indians through the fifth after starter Hunter Shepherd (Salisbury, N.C./Homeschool) allowed a hit and walk with one out.
Heath Mitchem (Salisbury, N.C./Carson), Ryan Kahny (High Point, N.C./Central) and Michael Elwell (Mooresville, N.C./Lake Norman) each got an out in the sixth then Coble pushed the lead to 5-2 with another home run. Wingate got the tying run to the plate in the seventh on two-out hits by Andrus and Zach Little, but Bryan Blanton (Albemarle, N.C./Albemarle) notched his fifth save on a strikeout to end it.
Setzer and Coble had two hits for Catawba. Andrus and Andrew Llewellyn, who homered in the second, had two hits for the Bulldogs. Shepherd (3-0) allowed two runs on four hits over four and a third innings. He walked two and fanned three.
The teams will finish off the series with a game on Sunday at 3 pm.
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