Offense explodes for CVCC in series-clinching win

Offense explodes for CVCC in series-clinching win

HOLLY SPRINGS, N.C. — Behind 14 hits at the plate, the Catawba Valley Community College baseball team earned a series victory against conference foe Wake Tech on the road Sunday, claiming game three of the set 12-10 at Ting Stadium.

With the win, CVCC improves to 12-8 overall and 4-4 in Region X games, having won six of its past seven contests.

The Red Hawks immediately took command of Sunday's series finale, scoring three runs in the top of the first on an RBI triple from Jackson Brown, an RBI fielder's choice from Sabion Thomas and an RBI single by Trent Jones to take a 3-0 lead.

Wake Tech (11-5, 1-2 in Region X) answered with seven runs on five hits in the bottom of the first inning, including a two-run single by Evan Balzano and a pair of two-RBI doubles by Kevin Catrine and Tyler Vaughn.

Despite its early hole, CVCC slowed chipped away at its four-run deficit, scoring three runs again in the second inning, including an RBI double by R.J. Conner and a two-RBI double by Willie Gordon, before taking the lead back with two runs in the top of the third inning on a two-run home run by outfielder Brett Eurey.

After Red Hawks starting pitcher Trae Starnes exited in the first inning, CVCC relief pitchers Timothy Davila, Myles White and Nic Messina battled valiantly throughout Sunday's contest, forcing Wake Tech batters to strand at least one runner in eight of the Eagles' nine innings.

Catawba Valley first baseman Tyler Campbell added to the Red Hawk advantage in the top of the fourth inning on a solo home run to right field — his second blast of the season — making it a 9-7 CVCC lead.

The Eagles would once again answer, tying the game at 9-9 in the fifth inning behind an RBI single by Vaughn and an RBI sac fly from Austin Bulman.

Catawba Valley continued to drive in runs, scoring at least one run in six of its first seven innings. Third baseman Grant Tilley gave the Red Hawks the lead back in the sixth inning on a two-run single, making it an 11-9 advantage for the away team.

Wake Tech pulled within 11-10 in the bottom of the sixth inning when Radim Novotny scored on a wild pitch by Myles White, but the Red Hawks scored on a wild pitch by the Eagles in the top of the seventh inning to once again make it a two-run lead.

Red Hawk relievers White and Messina helped close the door on any potential comeback for Wake in the final three innings.

White struck out the Eagles' side in order in the seventh inning, and Messina closed out the final two innings, allowing one hit, striking out four batters and stranding the tying runs on first and second base in the ninth inning to earn his third save of the 2019 campaign.

The CVCC baseball team tries to continue its momentum on Monday with a non-conference road doubleheader against the Limestone JV team. First pitch between the Red Hawks and Saints is set for 4 p.m. in Gaffney, S.C.