Baseball

Baseball Drops Series Opener to LMU

HARROGATE, Tenn. -- Lincoln Memorial took the opener of a three-game South Atlantic Conference baseball series with 28th-ranked Catawba on Friday afternoon at Hennon Field.  The 11-9 win by the Railsplitters improve LMU to 16-14 overall and 7-3 in the SAC.  The Catawba Indians fall to 20-8 and 10-3.

The Indians trailed 9-2 after five innings before putting together a rally that got the tying run to second in the ninth.  Malachi Hanes (Charlotte, N.C./Butler) connected on a two-run homer in the sixth and Zach Almond (Richfield, N.C./N. Stanly/UNCG) added a two-run homer in the seventh, his second of the game, to cut the deficit to 9-6.

LMU added single runs in the seventh and eighth.  Eric Kalman’s ground out got home an unearned run in the seventh, while Nate Stinson homered in the eighth.

Two walks and an error loaded the bases for Catawba in the ninth.  After a strikeout, walks to Nick Coble (Concord, N.C./Mt. Pleasant/Florence-Darlington) and Hunter Shepherd (Salisbury, N.C./Homeschool) forced home a pair of runs.  The Indians cut it to 11-9 when Chance Bowden (Salisbury, N.C./Salisbury) scored on a passed ball, but Dominic Moribito got Luke Setzer (Salisbury, N.C./E. Rowan) to ground out to third to preserve the win.

LMU answered Almond’s home run in the first with four in the bottom half.  Logan Augustine hit a two-run homer and Muta Crusoe singled home two runs with two outs.  The Railsplitters added four more in the fifth, two scoring on wild pitches with two outs.

Catawba collected 13 hits and drew five walks, but left 10 on base.  Setzer, Almond, Bowden, Hanes and Ben Bomberger (Manheim, Pa./Manheim Central/Coastal Carolina) all had two hits. 

Augustine led LMU with three hits.  Timmy Wages had two hits, including a home run.  Brandon Jean (4-3) got the win with six and a third innings of work.  He allowed six runs on 10 hits.

The teams will finish the series with a doubleheader on Saturday at 1 pm.

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