Red Hawks sweep Saturday doubleheader with Eagles

Red Hawks sweep Saturday doubleheader with Eagles

HOLLY SPRINGS, N.C. — The 17th-ranked Catawba Valley Community College baseball team extended its winning streak to six games on Saturday with a conference doubleheader sweep of host Wake Tech at Ting Stadium.

Game one: No. 17 Catawba Valley 6, Wake Tech 1 (nine innings)

The Red Hawks scored three runs each in the sixth and eighth innings and held off a late charge by the Eagles to win game one of the series by five runs.

CVCC and Wake Tech were scoreless through five complete innings until the Red Hawks scored three runs in the sixth inning — led by an RBI single from sophomore Graham Mitchell down the third base line that scored freshman shortstop Garrison Burress.

Two batters later, David Graves connected on an 0-2 pitch, hitting a two-run home run off the scoreboard in left center field — his fourth of the season — to extend CVCC's advantage to 3-0.

A solo home run by Wake Tech's Martin Cervinka in the seventh inning ended the shutout bid for CVCC starting pitcher Julian Smith, who had another dominating outing. Smith struck out 10 batters and allowed just one hit, one earned run and three walks to earn his fourth victory of the season.

The Red Hawks added three insurance runs in the top of the eighth inning when Cody Payne's double down the third base line scored both Rod Munoz and Mitchell, and Cory Watt followed that hit with an RBI single to score Payne.

Wake Tech was able to load the bases in both the eighth and ninth innings, but Red Hawks closer Kevin Finzer was able to work his team out of both jams unscathed to secure the Region X victory.

Game two: No. 17 Catawba Valley 6, Wake Tech 4 (seven innings)

Behind home runs from David Graves and Rod Munoz and a stout pitching performance from Harry Hatcher, the Red Hawks closed out the doubleheader sweep on Saturday with a two-run win in game two.

Catawba Valley jumped out to a quick 1-0 lead in the first inning on an RBI single from Garrison Burress, which plated Cory Watt.

The Red Hawks added to that advantage with five runs in the sixth inning, including an RBI double from Kyran Russ, an RBI single from Graham Mitchell and home runs from Munoz (solo) and Graves (two-run).

Hatcher held the Wake Tech bats at bay for most of the second game of the twin bill. He threw a complete game, giving up eight hits and three walks, and he struck out eight Eagle batters.

All four of Hatcher's earned runs in the game came in the sixth and seventh innings, where Wake Tech once again had its comeback bid cut short.

The CVCC baseball team looks to close out the series sweep on Sunday with a single nine-inning game. First pitch at Ting Stadium in Holly Springs is set for noon.