April 6, 2019
Baseball Takes Saturday Doubleheader vs. Queens
SALISBURY, N.C. -- Catawba swept a South Atlantic Conference baseball doubleheader from visiting Queens on Saturday afternoon at Newman Park. The fourth-ranked Catawba Indians won by the scores of 16-10 and 8-3 as they improve to 33-8 overall and 17-3 in the SAC. Queens falls to 10-25 and 3-14.
Queens hit four home runs in the first three innings of the opener to lead 5-0. Catawba rallied to take the lead in the fourth, scoring nine times. Queens cut the margin to 12-10 in the top of the seventh, but the Indians answered with four runs and went on for the win.
Jackson Raper’s two-run double in the first inning of game two gave Catawba a lead it never surrendered. Noah Jones got the Royals within a run on his two-run double in the third, but the Indians got one back as Lee Poteat tripled and scored on a single by Hunter Shepherd.
The Royals ended Sawyer Strickland’s day with back-to-back singles to start the fourth that made it 4-3. Catawba put up three runs in its fourth. Heath Mitchem and Jeremy Simpson singled home runs and Poteat plated a run on a ground out. Robbie Cowie capped the scoring on his first collegiate home run in the sixth.
Greg Brown (5-1) got the win in relief. He went four innings of shutout ball, allowing three hits with no walks and five strikeouts. The Indians collected 11 hits, two each by Mitchem, Simpson, Raper and Shepherd.
In the free-scoring opener. Nick Melton homered with two outs in the first for a quick Queens lead. The third inning for the Royals started with back-to-back homers from Bryan Dudney and C.J. Hammonds. After a double, Jones connected on a two-run homer.
Riley Myers would enter and allow just one hit over the next four innings to aid in the comeback. The rally started in the fourth against reliever Lee Harrison (0-5), who after a walk and fielder’s choice, allowed four straight singles. Two of those drove in runs off the bats of Cameron Morrison and Jacob Nester.
Bryce Butler drew a bases-loaded walk, Mitchem singled home a run and when Simpson forced home a run when he was hit by a pitch it was 5-5. Raper followed with a grand slam and a 9-5 edge. Mitchem capped the fifth with a two-run homer as Catawba increased its lead to 12-5.
Queens finally got to Myers in the seventh, loading the bases with one out. Jones connected on his second home run of the game, this time for a grand slam, and the lead was down to 12-9. Melton greeted reliever DJ Laxton with a double and Anthony Orta singled him home before Laxton got out of the inning.
Those would be the only run Laxton would allow over his two and two-thirds innings as he posted his third save. He fanned five, as did Myers, who improved to 6-0. Catawba cashed a Queens error in the seventh for four runs to lead 16-10. Mitchem, Simpson and Raper singled home runs with two outs.
Mitchem had four hits and drove in four, while scoring three runs. Raper had five RBI on two hits and Nester drove in three with two hits. Jones had six RBI for Queens on his two home runs.
The teams will wrap up the series with a game on Sunday at 1 p.m.
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