Red Hawks split doubleheader with Hurricanes

Red Hawks split doubleheader with Hurricanes

HICKORY, N.C. — The 17th-ranked Catawba Valley Community College baseball team split with visiting Louisburg College on Saturday afternoon at Henkel-Alley Field at the Hickory American Legion Fairgrounds.

The Red Hawks (11-5) took a big lead in game one before holding off the Hurricanes (11-4) for a 6-3 victory, but Louisburg bounced back with a 6-0 shutout against Catawba Valley in game two.

Game one: Catawba Valley 6, Louisburg 3 (nine innings)

Powered by a pair of home runs off the bats of Kyran Russ and Garrison Burress, the Red Hawks took the opening game by three runs on Saturday afternoon against the Hurricanes.

Russ' two-run blast in the bottom of the fourth inning scored himself and teammate Brett Macchia, helping give the Red Hawks a quick 2-0 lead.

Catawba Valley padded its lead in the bottom of the fifth inning when Graham Mitchell's RBI double scored Jimmy Marcelli, and Mitchell later scored in the inning on an error at first base by the Hurricanes.

Louisburg ended CVCC's attempt at a shutout bid in the top for the sixth inning when Justin Oakley led off the inning with a home run to center field off Red Hawk starting pitcher Julian Smith — only one of two hits Smith gave up in the contest.

Padding its lead late, Catawba Valley received two more runs in the bottom of the eighth when Burress connected on his first home run of the season, which also plated Russ.

The Hurricanes made a late-game rally, driving in two runs on a home run by Aaron Beach off CVCC closer Kevin Finzer in the top of the ninth.

However, Finzer would strike out the final two batters in the inning with runners on first and second to help the Red Hawks close out their 11th win of the year.

Smith picked up his third win of the season for Catawba Valley, allowing one earned run, two walks and striking out nine in seven innings. Finzer picked up the save — his second of the season.

Game two: Louisburg 6, Catawba Valley 0 (seven innings)

Despite tallying seven hits, the Red Hawks were shut out by the Hurricanes in the second game of the twin bill on Saturday afternoon.

Jimmy Marcelli led Catawba Valley with two hits in the contest, while Graham Mitchell, Willie Gordon, Garrison Burress, R.J. Conner and Cody Payne each tallied a hit.

Louisburg starting pitcher Payton Rice held the CVCC bats in check, striking out 11 batters in 6.1 innings before giving way to reliever Payton Rice in the seventh inning.

The Red Hawks stranded seven runners in scoring position in the contest, including two each in the second, third and fourth innings.

Starting pitcher Harry Hatcher took the loss for Catawba Valley. He allowed six hits, three earned runs and struck out four batters in his 3.1-inning appearance.

The Red Hawks and Hurricanes close out their three-game set on Sunday with a single nine-inning game. First pitch is slated for noon at Henkel-Alley Field at the Hickory American Legion Fairgrounds, and admission is free.