February 26, 2019
Baseball Suffers a Setback at Barton
WILSON, N.C. – Catawba’s late rally comes up short in a non-conference matchup at Barton’s Nixon Field Tuesday.
With the loss, Catawba drops to 13-4, while the Bulldogs improve to 12-7.
Trailing 5-0 after six innings, the Indians registered four of their eight hits in the final three frames, dropping the decision by a score of 5-2.
Barton registered a walk and four singles enroute to a four-run second inning, grabbing control early. The home side added a run in the fifth to go up 5-0.
Dylan Ward worked the first five innings for the Bulldogs on the mound and quieted Catawba’s offense. He improved to 2-0 this season, scattering four hits, walking two and striking out three.
Catawba’s offense awakened in the seventh. Aided by a defensive miscue, the Indians pushed across their first run of the contest. Heath Mitchem followed with a single and Jackson Raper loaded the bases, bringing the potential tying run to the plate. Barton’s Chase Long was summoned from the bullpen and ended the rally with a strikeout.
In the eighth, the Indians threatened when Hunter Shepherd singled and Lee Poteat worked a base-on-balls. Once again, Barton’s bullpen turned the Indians away, maintaining the four-run advantage.
Fredrick May relieved Long in the ninth and worked himself into a jam with the first two Catawba batters reaching.
Jeremy Simpson got things started with a single and moved to second when Heath Mitchem worked a walk. May uncorked a wild pitch allowing both runners to advance a base. Jackson Raper, who leads the Indians with 18 runs-batted-in, drove in Simpson from third with a sacrifice fly, trimming the margin to 5-2.
Joe Butts reached on a walk and Mitchem to moved to third when the ball got past the Bulldogs’ catcher, putting runners on the corners for the Indians. May settled down and retired the next two batters, securing the win for Barton.
Simpson went 2-for-5 at the dish, extending his hitting streak to 11 games. With the two knocks, he moves into a tie for the teams lead with seven multi-hit games.
Raper continued his hitting streak, reaching safely in all 17 games this season, while five other Indians accounted for a hit apiece.
Barton’s seven hits came from seven different players, while Jacob Marcos and JoJo Allen drove in two runs each.
Catawba continues its four-game road swing this weekend in Harrogate, Tenn. The Indians and Lincoln Memorial square off in a crucial three-game series, beginning Friday at 4 p.m. The matchup of the top two teams in the South Atlantic Conference Pre-Season Poll wraps up with a doubleheader Saturday at 1 p.m.