February 25, 2017
Baseball Completes Weekend Sweep of C-N
SALISBURY, N.C. -- Catawba completed an opening weekend league sweep of visiting Carson-Newman in South Atlantic Conference baseball action on Saturday afternoon at Newman Park. The Catawba Indians took the doubleheader by the scores of 14-2 and 10-6 to improve to 10-3 overall and 3-0 in the SAC. The Eagles fall to 6-9 and 0-3.
The Indians rode a five-run first inning to roll in the opener. Luke Setzer (Salisbury, N.C./E. Rowan) homered for a 2-0 lead, while Kyle Smith (Greensboro, N.C./Grimsley) had a two-run double in the frame. Chance Bowden (Salisbury, N.C./Salisbury) added a two-run single in the second and Ben Bomberger (Manheim, Pa./Manheim Central/Coastal Carolina) all but put the game to rest with a three-run homer in third for an 11-0 lead.
That was plenty of support for Nick Coble (Concord, N.C./Mt. Pleasant/Florence-Darlington). Coble (1-0) shutout the Eagles for five frames on just one hit. He walked four and fanned five for his first win. Nick Borgen (Winston-Salem, N.C./N. Davidson) tossed two innings of shutout relief and Will Horsley (Concord, N.C./Concord) threw a perfect eighth with a pair of strikeouts.
Bomberger and Jeremy Simpson (Cleveland, N.C./W. Rowan) each had three hits and three RBI with two runs scored in the opener. Bowden had two hits.
It was another five-run frame, the fourth in game two, that pushed Catawba to the sweep. After C-N had tied the game in the top half of the fourth at 3-3, the Indians made the Eagles pay for a two-out error to score five times.
Simpson, who had singled with two outs just before the error, would score on a passed ball to put the Indians up 4-3. Zach Almond (Richfield, N.C./N. Stanly/UNCG) later doubled home a run and Coble brought home two with a single then came home a wild pitch for the 8-3 edge.
Carson-Newman got close in the top of the fifth, opening the frame with three straight doubles with Greg Jones and Gooch Greer driving in runs. Joey Selitto’s single made it 8-6 before Heath Mitchem (Salisbury, N.C./Carson) came on to get the final two outs of the inning.
Smith singled home a run in the Catawba fifth and Jackson Raper (Concord, N.C./Robinson) hit a sacrifice fly in the sixth to extend the lead to 10-6. Bryan Blanton (Albemarle, N.C./Albemarle) blanked the Eagles over the final two innings on two walks and four strikeouts for his third save.
Coble led the offense with two hits and three RBI. Setzer, Almond, Bowden and Malachi Hanes (Charlotte, N.C./Butler) also had two hits.
Catawba is set to host UNC Pembroke on Wednesday at 5 pm.
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