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Catawba baseball: Indians open with romp

Staff report

Catawba’s baseball team started impressively with a record-tying 27-7 win at Belmont Abbey on Saturday afternoon.

Shortstop Dylan Richardson hit a grand slam and a two-run double, scored five runs and drove in seven. Transfer Will Albertson and freshman Kyle Smith had impressive Catawba debuts with five RBIs each. Smith hit a two-run homer.

Blake Houston (South Rowan), T.J. Wharton and Smith had four each as the Indians pounded out 25 hits.

Catawba scored 27 runs for the fourth time in school history. The most recent was a 2006 game with Anderson.

Catawba scored in eight different innings and had eight-run frames in the sixth and seventh.

Freshman Chance Bowden (Salisbury) had a bases-clearing double. Freshman Luke Setzer (East Rowan) had two hits and scored three runs. Craig Brooks scored four runs.

Shaefer Shepard picked up the win.  He pitched into the sixth and allowed four runs and seven hits with three strikeouts.

Clay Young, Avery Bowles, Bryan Blanton and  Sean Grant pitched in relief.

Blanton, a freshman from Albemarle, struck out the side in the eighth.

Lorenzo Wright had  a three-run inside-the-park homer for the Crusaders in the sixth.  Nick Nunziato also homered for the Crusaders.

Catawba hosts Belmont Abbey on Sunday at Newman Park in a doubleheader starting at 1 p.m.

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