Records fall, are tied as Red Hawks sweep Muskies

Records fall, are tied as Red Hawks sweep Muskies

HICKORY, N.C. — On a historic day that saw one program record tied and another shattered, the 15th-ranked Catawba Valley Community College baseball team earned a doubleheader sweep against visiting New River Community College on Saturday at Henkel-Alley Field.

The Red Hawks (38-14, 17-7 in Region X) won game one 6-1 in nine innings against the Muskies (6-43-1, 0-23) before taking down the second game of the twin bill 5-1 in seven innings.

Game one: No. 15 Catawba Valley 6, New River 1

Behind a dominant pitching performance from Julian Smith and two RBI each off the bats of Jimmy Marcelli and Brett Macchia, the Red Hawks won the opening game of the series on Saturday afternoon against the Muskies by five runs.

Smith struck out 11 batters and allowed two hits, no walks and no runs to pick up his eighth victory of the season. With the win, Smith tied Cole Whitney (2017) for the most wins by a pitcher in a single season in Catawba Valley history.

Smith's stout effort on the mound was aided by CVCC's offense, including Marcelli, who drove in the game's first two runs on a sac fly in the third inning and a single in the fifth inning. Both plays scored Cody Payne, who drove in the game's third run in the sixth inning on a single to right field.

Catawba Valley third baseman Graham Mitchell connected on his team-leading 10th home run of the season in the bottom of the seventh inning, extending the Red Hawks' lead to 4-0.

A single by New River's Wilson Ey in the top of the eighth inning broke up CVCC's bid for a shutout, but the Red Hawks managed to snuff out any potential comeback bid by the Muskies.

Hunter Isaacs relieved Smith on the mound in the seventh inning, and Isaacs and Connor Hewell closed out the game's final three innings, allowing a total of three hits, one earned run and three strikeouts.

Macchia capped off the game's scoring by connecting on his second home run of the season and first at home in the bottom of the eighth inning.

Game two: No. 15 Catawba Valley 5, New River 1

Third baseman Graham Mitchell went 3-for-3 at the plate with three RBI and pitcher Harry Hatcher allowed just two hits, one walk and stuck out five batters to lead the Red Hawks to a four-run victory in game two of the doubleheader on Saturday.

Mitchell's two-run single in the bottom of the first inning gave Catawba Valley an early 2-0 lead in the contest, and he added to his impressive day in the third inning with an RBI double, scoring Garrison Burress. Teammate David Graves followed suit in the third inning, plating Mitchell on a single to right field.

With two outs in the fourth inning, CVCC center fielder Cory Watt drove in a run on an RBI double and stole third base, breaking the all-time career (38) and single-season (33) stolen base records set by Ty Andrus (2015-16).

The Muskies broke up the shutout bid in the top of the seventh inning on an RBI groundout from Logan Beamer, but could get no closer than four runs.

Hatcher exited the mound after five innings, and Red Hawk relief pitchers Will Angel and Greg Collins closed out the final two innings, allowing a combined one hit, one earned run and three walks to seal Catawba Valley's win.

The Red Hawks and Muskies complete their three-game set on Sunday with a single nine-inning game set for noon at Henkel-Alley Field. Admission is free.