Baseball

Laxton's Bat and Arm Help Get Baseball Past USC Aiken

19_BB_LaxtonDJUSCA

SALISBURY, N.C. -- Catawba knocked off another top Southeast Region opponent on Tuesday, taking a 9-8 decision over visiting USC Aiken at Newman Park. The win improves the Catawba Indians to 16-5, while the Pacers fall to 13-5.

DJ Laxton had two hits, drove in three runs then pitched two scoreless innings to grab his first save. Lexton drove in a run on a ground out during a four-run third that saw the Indians turn a 4-1 deficit into a 5-4 lead. His two-run double in the fifth extended the Catawba lead to 8-4.

USC Aiken battled back in the seventh with a pair of two-run homers. Blake Jenkins followed a leadoff walk with his second of the game and Jackson Hannon connected with two-outs to tie the game.

The Indians answered those runs in their half of the seventh. Lee Poteat led off with a double and Hunter Shepherd followed with a run-scoring single for the deciding margin. Laxton took the mound for the eighth and after surrendering a leadoff single, he induced a double play groundout before sitting down the last four Pacers to come to the plate.

Poteat had three hits and scored twice for the Indians. Shepherd had two hits with two RBI and two runs scored. Joe Butts also posted two hits for Catawba. Greg Brown worked the middle innings for the Indians. He went four and two-thirds innings and allowed three runs on five hits with four strikeouts. Cameron Mills (1-0) got the last out of the seventh.

Jenkins drove in four runs with both of his hits being home runs. Trey Polewski and Luke Leisenring picked up three hits. Lindsey Robinson (0-1) faced just two batters in the seventh and took the loss for the Pacers.

Catawba is on the road at North Greenville on Wednesday with a first pitch set for 2:30 p.m.

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