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College baseball: Indians sweep Anderson

Staff report

SALISBURY — Catawba’s baseball team took a doubleheader from Anderson on Sunday at Newman Park and moved up to third place in the South Atlantic Conference standings.

Catawba (19-6, 6-3) swept a three-game SAC series for the first time this year, but it took some major work against the Trojans (9-12, 2-7).

The seven-inning second game was calm. Hunter Shepherd dominated on the mound in a 2-0 victory. He allowed only two hits, stuck out seven and walked none.

Henderson Lentz and Jacob Nester drove in runs. Cameron Mills had two hits.

The first game of the twin bill, however, was anything but calm. Catawba had 16 hits but still came within a strike of losing. The Indians trailed going to the bottom of the ninth, but managed to win, 9-8.

Catawba led 6-3 going to the ninth.

Sawyer Strickland gave the Indians a decent start. He struck out six and made it into the sixth with a 4-3 lead. Riley Myers relieved Strickland in the sixth, got the final out of the inning on a called strike three, and then took care of Anderson in the seventh. When Lentz came through with a two-out, two-run single in the bottom of the seventh. Catawba led 6-3 and had some breathing room.

Myers got the Trojans out again in the eighth.

Then he took the mound for the ninth, still holding that 6-3 lead.

Myers got the first out in the ninth, but a throwing error on a ground ball opened the door for an Anderson comeback. A double brought the tying run to the plate and knocked out Myers. Catawba coach Jim Gantt turned to closer Peyton Williams, who allowed a walk and a run-scoring single before clean-up man Brandon Odachowski hit the first pitch he saw over the center-field wall for a grand slam. Anderson led 8-6.

It easily could’ve been a devastating defeat, but Catawba rallied in the bottom of the ninth, scoring three runs after the first two hitters were retired. Shepherd singled to keep Catawba alive.

Catawba was a strike away from losing when Lee Poteat belted an opposite-field homer on a 1-and-2 pitch to tie the game. Cameron Morrison followed with a pinch-hit single, and then Lentz singled through the right side to send pinch-runner Jeremy Simpson to third base. Nester delivered the walk-off single on an 0-and-2 pitch that he smacked up the middle.

Lentz and Nester had three hits each. Nester drove in three. Williams was credited with the win.

Catawba is back home for a non-conference doubleheader on Tuesday against Indiana (Pa.).

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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