NEWTON, N.C. — The Catawba Valley Community College baseball team used 11 stolen bases to take a doubleheader sweep against Belmont Abbey's JV team at Henkel-Alley Field at the Hickory American Legion Fairgrounds on Thursday afternoon.
With the victories, the Red Hawks improve to 10-7 overall on the season, winning their past four games in a row.
Game one: Catawba Valley 6, Belmont Abbey JV 5 (eight innings)
The Red Hawks cracked the scoreboard in the first inning when catcher Willie Gordon laced a double to left field, scoring Tyler Campbell, who had singled earlier in the inning. During the hit, an error in left field allowed Gordon to round all the bases and give the Red Hawks a 2-0 lead.
The Red Hawks added two more runs to their lead, scoring one each in the fourth and fifth innings. David Kennedy stole home during the fourth inning, and Campbell delivered a two-run blast over the left field fence, scoring Cole Chapman to make it a 5-0 CVCC advantage.
Chapman led the Red Hawks with three hits in game one of the doubleheader, while Campbell and Gordon each added two hits apiece.
The Crusaders roared back in the seventh inning, tying the contest on a bases loaded walk, hit batter and back-to-back hits to even the score at 5-5.
After a lead-off walk and stolen base by Sheek, Tilly pinch hit for Nathan Collins, singling to left field to bring home Sheek for the winning run.
CVCC starting pitcher Austin Blevins tossed five innings of shutout baseball, allowing only one hit and striking out six. Reliever Myles White earned the win, pitching the final 1.2 innings while striking out four batters and giving up one run on two hits.
Game two: Catawba Valley 5, Belmont Abbey JV 1 (seven innings)
The Red Hawks scored all five of their runs in the fourth inning, defeating the Crusaders by four runs to earn the doubleheader sweep on Thursday.
With the bases loaded and one out in the fourth inning, a fielder's choice by Ryan Healy plated Trent Jones to open the game's scoring. For the second game in a row, a Red Hawk baserunner — this time Grant Tilley — scored by stealing home plate on a double steal attempt that also saw Healy swipe second base. Back-to-back RBI singles from Jackson Brown and Mason Lyda extended the Red Hawks' advantage to 5-0 through four complete innings.
Belmont Abbey was able to break the shutout bid by CVCC in the seventh inning, plating its lone run on a wild pitch.
Catawba Valley starting pitcher Chris Banks earned the win on the mound, going five innings and striking out seven batters while allowing no runs on two hits. Reliever Noah Eaker earned the save by coming in the seventh inning and striking out three batters and giving up one run on one hit and two walks
The CVCC baseball team returns to the field this weekend for a conference series against Wake Tech in Raleigh, N.C. The Red Hawks and Eagles square off in a doubleheader on Saturday starting at 1 p.m. before playing a single nine-inning game on Sunday at noon.