Red Hawks split conference opener with Hurricanes

Red Hawks split conference opener with Hurricanes
NEWTON, N.C. — The Catawba Valley Community College baseball team split its conference-opening doubleheader with Paul D. Camp Community College on Sunday afternoon at Henkel-Alley Field.
The Red Hawks (5-2, 1-1 in Region X) won the opening game of the afternoon 8-5 before falling 6-1 in the nightcap against the Hurricanes (4-4, 1-1).
Game one: Catawba Valley 8, Paul D. Camp 5 (nine innings)
The Red Hawks built a five-run lead early and held off a late charge by the Hurricanes to come away with the three-run victory in their Region X opener on Sunday afternoon.
Third baseman Grant Tilley and designated hitter Trent Jones led the way offensively for CVCC with two RBIs each, while outfielders Jackson Brown and David Kennedy tallied two hits apiece.
On the mound, CVCC starting pitcher Blake Dockery picked up his second win of the season, striking out 10 batters in 5.2 innings. Dockery allowed just four hits, two unearned runs and three walks during his second appearance of the season.
Leading 2-1 through 3.5 innings, Catawba Valley scored four runs in the fourth inning, including an RBI double from Tilley, to surge ahead 6-1 through four complete.
The Hurricanes mounted a late comeback by scoring four runs in a span of three innings, including one run in the sixth, two in the seventh and one in the eighth, to make it a 6-5 game in the middle of the eighth inning.
However, a clutch two-RBI single by Jones scored Garrison Burress and Brett Eurey in the bottom of the eighth inning, and Red Hawks closer Nic Messina shut the door in the ninth inning by striking out two of the final three Hurricane batters to earn his first save of the season.
Game two: Paul D. Camp 6, Catawba Valley 1 (seven innings)
The Red Hawks were two-hit in a five-run loss during the nightcap of Sunday's conference doubleheader against Paul D. Camp at Henkel-Alley Field at the American Legion Fairgrounds.
Hurricanes starting pitcher Joey Santos went the distance, striking out 14 CVCC batters (five looking) and allowing one unearned run in seven innings to improve to 2-0 on the season. 
Deadlocked at 0-0 through the game's first three innings, Hurricanes third baseman Cameron Ochsenfeld broke the scoreless tie in the fourth inning on an RBI double to left field, scoring teammate Thomas Fox.
Paul D. Camp would score four more runs in the top of the fifth inning, including two on a single by Fox and a bases-loaded walk by Rufus Hurdle, to extend its lead to 5-0 through five complete innings.
The Hurricanes' final run came in the top of the sixth inning on a pinch hit solo home run by Victor Spence to right field. 
CVCC first baseman Tyler Campbell ended Paul D. Camp's shutout bid in the bottom of the seventh inning when he reached base on a throwing error, which allowed third baseball Grant Tilley to score from second base.
Tilley had one of the two Red Hawk hits in the contest — a double in the seventh inning — while right fielder Brett Eurey tripled during the bottom of the third inning.
Catawba Valley starting pitcher Trae Starnes suffered his first loss of the season. Starnes gave up five earned runs, three hits and three walks in 4.1 innings. Logan Bender closed out the remaining 2.2 innings, giving up two hits, one earned run and striking out six batters.
The CVCC baseball team returns to action on Tuesday when it travels to Marion, N.C. to take on the Montreat JV squad. First pitch between the Red Hawks and Cavaliers at Big League Camp is set for 6 p.m.