SALISBURY, NC -- Chris Dula (Troutman, NC/S. Iredell HS) provided Catawba all the runs it needed with a three-run first inning homer to propel the 10th-ranked Indians past visiting Belmont Abbey 3-2 in baseball action on Tuesday night at Newman Park. The Catawba Indians improve to 37-10, while the Crusaders fall to 29-17.
Catawba got one-out hits from Brett Underwood (Greensboro, NC/SW Guilford HS) and Ethan Satterfield (Madison, NC/McMichael HS) before Dula connected with two outs. It was the sophomore’s team-leading 11th round tripper of the season.
Belmont Abbey cut the margin to 3-2 in the fourth. Emilio Pagan (Simpsonville, SC) drove home a run with a one-out double then came around to score on Caleb Shore’s (Kannapolis, NC) two-out single. That would be all the Crusaders would get as three Catawba relievers shut the door over the final five frames.
Nate King (Vancouver, WA/Skyview HS/NC State) finished off two scoreless frames, working out of a first and third jam in the sixth. Ryan McClintock (Matthew, NC/Providence HS) had to work out of a second and third jam in the seventh before striking out the final three men he faced in the eight. Craig Brooks was the last Tribe pitcher and after hitting a batter with two outs he got a pop up to end the contest and earn his third save.
Clay Watson (Lexington, NC/N. Davidson HS) got the win in relief for Catawba. Ross Whitley (Mooresville, NC/Lake Norman HS) started and tossed a pair of scoreless innings. Cameron Beard (Conover, NC/Bunker Hill HS) had three of the eight Catawba hits. Satterfield and Dula had two each.
Justin Vasquez (Palm City, FL) had three hits for the Crusaders. Shore and Ian Vasquez (Miramar, PUERTO RICO) each had two hits. The game was halted for nearly an hour and a half after the top of the sixth. James White (Huntington, WV) threw three scoreless innings for Belmont Abbey when the game resumed.