Baseball Closes Home Slate With Win Over Belmont Abbey


SALISBURY, N.C. -- Catawba topped Belmont Abbey for the second night in a row, beating the Crusaders 9-6 in baseball action on Wednesday at Newman Park. The 12th-ranked Catawba Indians improve to 36-12, while Belmont Abbey drops to 24-22.

Down 3-0 early, Catawba scored six times in the second to go on top for good. The Indians loaded the bases on a single, a hit batter and a walk. Jeremy Simpson doubled home two and Hunter Shepherd followed with another two-run double to put the Indians up 4-3. Jackson Raper added a RBI single and Cameron Morrison a RBI double to cap the inning.

Belmont Abbey closed to within 7-5 in the fourth on a two-run homer by Zach Aehlert. Morrison answered in the bottom half for Catawba, hitting his own two-run shot.

The Crusaders got a run in the eighth and had the bases loaded with two outs, but Riley Myers entered and got a fly out to end the threat and keep the Indians on top 9-6. Myers struck out two in a perfect ninth for his first save of the year.

Sawyer Strickland (6-2) earned the win in relief. He went four and two-thirds innings and gave up three runs on four hits with five strikeouts. Heath Mitchem had three hits for Catawba. Morrison had two hits and three RBI. Raper, Zach Queen and Jacob Nester also had two hits.

Ben Sneider had a solo homer in the second as one of his two hits for Belmont Abbey. Patrick Taylor also had two hits and Jakob Rolly had a two-run homer in the first.

Next for Catawba is a trip to USC Aiken on Monday at 6 p.m.

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