March 19, 2017
Baseball Sweeps Wingate Behind Almond's Two Homers
SALISBURY, N.C. -- Zach Almond (Richfield, N.C./N. Stanly/UNCG) hit two home runs and Catawba came back from an early 4-0 deficit to top Wingate 12-6 on Sunday afternoon and complete a three-game sweep of the South Atlantic Conference baseball series at Newman Park. The Catawba Indians improve to 19-7 overall and 10-2 in the SAC. The Bulldogs fall to 14-15 and 4-5.
Wingate took the lead in the top of the third, sending 10 men to the plate and scoring four times. The Bulldogs could have had more, but just missed on two grand slams that were caught against the well by centerfielder Malachi Hanes (Charlotte, N.C./Butler). Micah Goodwin was hit by a pitch to get the first run home and Andrew Llewellyn singled home a run.
Colby Barnette had the first chance for a grand slam, but his deep fly resulted in a sacrifice fly and a 3-0 lead. The chased Catawba starter Bryan Ketchie (Woodleaf, N.C./W. Rowan), who had started strong as he struck out the first four Wingate batters and fanned six over two and two-thirds innings.
After Ketchie departed, Wingate loaded the bases again on a RBI single by Austin Turgeon and a walk to David Nash. Clay Young (Greensboro, N.C./E. Randolph) got the final out of the inning, getting Reece Daniel on a deep fly to center.
After the long inning by Wingate, Catawba quickly started the rally. With one out in the third, Luke Setzer (Salisbury, N.C./E. Rowan) doubled, Jeremy Simpson (Cleveland, N.C./W. Rowan) walked and Almond connected on his first home run, powering a shot through the wind to left to make it 4-3.
The Indians went on top with a five-run fourth. Catawba tied the game when Hanes scored from first off an error on Hunter Shepherd’s (Salisbury, N.C./Homeschool) hit-and-run single. Ben Bomberger (Manheim, Pa./Manheim Central/Coastal Carolina) doubled home Shepherd to give Catawba the lead and Almond capped the frame with a two-run homer to left.
Young kept Wingate at bay after the four-run third. The junior tossed three and a third scoreless innings to improve to 1-0 on the year. He allowed four hits and struck out four. Bryan Blanton (Albemarle, N.C./Albemarle) closed the game by striking out the side in the ninth.
Almond finished with three hits and six RBI. Hanes and Bomberger also had three hits. Hanes homered in the eighth. Ty Andrus had three hits for Wingate.
Catawba travels to Barton on Tuesday for a 2 pm first pitch.
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Baseball vs. UNC Pembroke (NCAA II Regional) 2-6
Baseball vs. USC Aiken (NCAA II Regional) 7-4
Baseball vs. Lincoln Memorial (NCAA Regional) 8-2
Baseball @ Mount Olive (NCAA Regional) 6-5
Baseball vs. North Georgia (NCAA II Regional) 4-5
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