Baseball

No. 5 Catawba Drops Series Opener to Wingate

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SALISBURY, N.C. -- Catawba’s offense had no answer for Wingate’s starting pitcher, Austin Turgeon, Sunday at Newman Park.

In the conference opener for both teams, the Indians dropped to 12-2 overall and 0-1 in the league with the 6-1 setback, while the Bulldogs improved to 8-3, 1-0.

Turgeon dominated the best hitting offense and second-highest scoring team in the South Atlantic Conference all day. He mixed his pitches, location and changed speeds, keeping the Indian hitters off balance all day.

Catawba manufactured just six hits, one run and struck out nine times against Wingate’s starter, who worked the first eight innings.

Indians’ third baseman, Jackson Raper, went 1-for-4 at the plate but his single up the middle in the fourth extended his hitting streak. He has registered at least one hit in all 14 games this season.

The first two batters of the game reached and scored, giving the visitors the early 2-0 advantage.

Justin Guy was hit by a 0-2 pitch and came around to score on McCann Mellett's double to left. Mellet advanced to third on the throw, when Catawba’s defense tried to throw Guy out at the plate. Tyler Schneider grounded out to second, allowing Mellett to score.

Wingate recorded solo runs in the third and seventh, before padding the advantage with two in the ninth.

Catawba’s lone run came in the eighth when Cameron Morrison singled with one out and came in to score on Jacob Nester’s two-out double.

Hunter Shepherd was saddled with his first loss, dropping his record to 1-1 in four starts on the mound for Catawba this season. He surrendered four runs on four hits, walking one and striking out seven in 6.2 innings.

Joe Butts, Lee Poteat and Jeremy Simpson joined Raper, Morrison and Nester in the hit column with one each. Simpson extended his hitting streak to seven games, while Morrison and Butts pushed their respective streaks to six.

Tanner Forry paced the Bulldogs, going 2-for-4 at the plate, driving in two runs and scoring two.

Catawba’s 11-game winning streak and perfect 9-0 home record in 2019 ended with the setback.

UP NEXT:
Catawba and Wingate conclude the three-game set with a doubleheader at 2 p.m. Monday.

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