Red Hawks run-rule Muskies 12-1 in series finale

Red Hawks run-rule Muskies 12-1 in series finale

HICKORY, N.C. — The 15th-ranked Catawba Valley Community College baseball team earned a 12-1 five-inning, run-rule victory against visiting New River Community College in its regular season finale on Sunday at Henkel-Alley Field.

Garrison Burress led the Red Hawks (39-14, 18-7 in Region X) with three hits and four RBI, including a two-run single, an RBI double and a solo home run.

Catawba Valley quickly grabbed a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the first inning on a bases-loaded walk by Brett Macchia, but the Muskies (6-45-1, 0-25 in Region X) answered back by tying the game on a single by Logan Beamer in the top of the second inning.

Burress' RBI double in the bottom of the second inning scored Rod Munoz to give the Red Hawks a 2-1 advantage — a lead it did not surrender.

After scoreless third and fourth innings, Catawba Valley erupted for 10 runs on five hits in the bottom of the fifth inning, including back-to-back home runs by Burress and third baseman Graham Mitchell to lead off the stanza.

Willie Gordon and R.J. Conner also drew bases-loaded walks during the inning, and after batting around in the line up, Burress added an RBI single to left field, scoring both Gordon and Conner.

First baseman Kyran Russ ended the game with a pinch-hit, three-run home run to left field — his team-leading 11th of the season — to score himself, Mitchell and Burress. Russ' blast broke the CVCC team record for home runs in a season. The Red Hawks now have 64 as a team in 2018.

CVCC starting pitcher Thomas Walden gave his team a solid start, and he went distance, allowing three hits, one earned run, one walk and striking out seven batters in five innings. He improves to 4-1 on the season.

The Red Hawks will be the No. 4 seed in this week's Southeast District tournament, which is being held in Burlington, N.C. The schedule for the tournament will be released on Monday.

The winner of the Southeast District tournament will advance to the National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) Div. II World Series in Enid, Okla. Catawba Valley will be attempting to make its third trip to the World Series (2012, 2015).