Baseball

Baseball Wallops West Virginia State, Sweeps Doubleheader

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SALISBURY, N.C. – Big innings by Catawba’s offense broke open both games of Friday’s doubleheader against West Virginia State.

The Indians improved to 6-1 with identical 10-3 victories at Newman Park and the Yellow Jackets opened the season 0-2.

Both contests were similar with Catawba pounding out 10 runs on 12 hits. The Indians posted a seven-run inning in the bottom of the fifth of game one, busting a 3-2 game open. Leading 4-3 in the bottom of the sixth in the night cap, they pulled away with six runs in the frame.

Game One Recap:
West Virginia State tallied solo runs in the second, third and fifth innings, grabbing the early lead at 1-0.

The short-lived lead when Catawba’s Cameron Morrison doubled home Hunter Shepherd and Joe Butts. After adding another run in the visitor’s third, knotting the score at 2-2, Heath Mitchem crossed the plate in the bottom of the frame and reestablishing the Indians’ advantage. He opened the frame with a double and moved to third on a balk by the Yellow Jackets’ starting pitcher, Hunter Bradley. A wild pitch allowed him to scamper home.

Catawba sent 11 batters to the plate in the bottom of the fifth, plating seven on five hits, putting the contest out of reach.

Henderson Lentz and Mitchem each went 3-for-5 at the dish, while Butts added two hits and four others notched one each. Bryan Ketchie earned his second win of the season, allowing two runs on three hits and one walk in five innings of work, fanning five.

Matt Harrison, Brandon Quinn and Antonio Brown tallied the three hits for the Yellow Jackets.

Game Two Recap:
In a near repeat of the opener, 11 Indians strolled to the plate in the sixth, with six scoring on four hits and a miscue. When the dust settled, Catawba opened its 4-3 advantage to 10-3, with three outs remaining on the defensive side.

Timely hits was the key, as the home team went 8-for-14 with runners in scoring position, while the visitors were 1-for-3.

With two outs in the bottom of the first, the Indians tallied two runs with three-consecutive hits, grabbing the 2-0 advantage.

Catawba starting pitcher, Sawyer Strickland, retired six of the first eight men he faced, with one reaching via walk and the other on a dropped pop-up but he ran into trouble in the third. He picked up his second win of the season, allowing three runs on four hits and one walk, while striking out six in five innings.

Christopher Jordan blasted Strickland’s 2-1 offering over the centerfield wall, plating Jared Hunt and Brown in the visitor’s third.

Once again, Catawba erased the 3-2 deficit, with a two-out rally in its half of the frame. An error, two singles and a double accounted for two runs, as the Indians regained the advantage.

The Yellow Jackets threatened with a walk and a single but Robbie Cowie fanned Mathew Kline, ending the sixth-inning treat. Needing three outs in the top of the seventh for the sweep, the offense went to work, adding six runs, including three with two outs.

Jackson Raper went 2-for-4 for the Indians, scoring twice and driving in two. Shepherd was 2-for-3 with a run scored and two runs-batted in. while Zach Queen registered two hits and three RBIs.

Jordan was 1-for-3, driving in all three of West Virginia State’s runs, while four others tallied a single each.

UP NEXT:
Catawba continues its 12-game home stand with a non-conference doubleheader against Mars Hill Sunday. First pitch of game one is 1 p.m.

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For up-to-date news, photos, videos and updates you can follow Catawba sports program online at gocatawbaindians.com or via @catawbabaseball and @catawbaindians.

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Baseball vs. Young Harris (NCAA II Southeast 2 Regional) 9-2

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