Red Hawks hand Pitt first region loss, split twin bill

Red Hawks hand Pitt first region loss, split twin bill

HICKORY, N.C. — The 16th-ranked Catawba Valley Community College baseball team split its Sunday doubleheader with rival Pitt Community College on Sunday afternoon at Henkel-Alley Field at the Hickory American Legion Fairgrounds.

The Red Hawks (19-9, 5-3 in Region X) fell 10-4 in game one against the Bulldogs (13-9-1, 7-1) before powering back with a 9-4 game two victory.

Game one: Pitt 10, No. 16 Catawba Valley 4

Led by a pair of two-run home runs from outfielder Joe Quinones-Mason, the Bulldogs powered their way to a six-run victory against the Red Hawks in game one of the doubleheader on Sunday.

Mason hit one home run each in the second and eighth innings, helping Pitt score four runs in each of those innings. Mason led the Bulldogs with a team-high three hits in game one of the twin bill.

Third baseman Graham Mitchell led the way offensively for CVCC in game one, driving in two runs on two hits, including his fourth home run of the season — a solo shot off the hitting cage in right field in the bottom of the second inning.

Jimmy Marcelli also had two hits for the Red Hawks in the contest.

On the mound, Catawba Valley starting pitcher Julian Smith suffered his second loss of the season. He allowed four hits, four earned runs and five walks, and Smith also finished one strikeout shy of his season high, punching out 11 Bulldog batters.

Game two: No. 16 Catawba Valley 9, Pitt 4

Behind a 12-hit performance, including two each off the bats of Jimmy Marcelli, Garrison Burress, Graham Mitchell and Rod Munoz, the Red Hawks salvaged a series split with a four-run win in game two against the Bulldogs.

A leadoff solo home run by Cory Watt and an RBI double from Mitchell helped put CVCC up 2-0 quickly after one inning of play.

The Red Hawks added to their lead with three more runs in the bottom of the second inning, including a two-run home run from Munoz and an RBI double by Marcelli.

Mitchell continued his hot-hitting from game one, crushing his second home run of the day — a solo shot to center field — in the bottom of the third inning.

Catawba Valley starting pitcher Harry Hatcher held the Pitt bats at bay with one of his best outings of the season. He allowed six hits and four earned runs, but gave up no walks and struck out eight batters in 6.2 innings.

Down 9-0 heading into the final inning, the Bullldogs made a comeback late, scoring four runs in the seventh, including a solo home run by Austin LaFollette and an RBI single from Trevor Losito.

However, CVCC relief pitcher Nic Messina was able to close the door with a ground out by LaFollete to end the game.

The CVCC baseball team returns to action on Wednesday for a non-conference home game against Queens University. First pitch is slated for 5 p.m. at Henkel-Alley Field.