No. 18 Red Hawks sweep Salk, win ninth-straight game

No. 18 Red Hawks sweep Salk, win ninth-straight game

ALLENDALE, S.C. — The 18th-ranked Catawba Valley Community College baseball team extended its winning streak to nine games on Wednesday with a road non-conference doubleheader sweep of host USC Salkehatchie.

With the victories, the Red Hawks improve to 19-8 overall on the 2019 season.

Game one: No. 18 Catawba Valley 15, USC Salkehatchie 2

The Red Hawks tallied 12 base hits, including two apiece off the bats of Vinny Consolo, Mason Lyda and Ryan Healy, to earn a 13-run victory in the opening game of the set on Wednesday afternoon.

CVCC scored at least one run in every inning except for one, cruising to its 18th win of the season.

Sophomore right fielder Trent Jones opened the game's scoring in the first inning with a two-RBI double, giving the road team an early 2-0 advantage.

The Red Hawks added five runs to their lead in the second inning, including a two-run single by center fielder Malik Stephens and an RBI single by first baseman Tyler Campbell, to make it a 7-0 game.

Consolo added the first of his two run-scoring doubles in the fourth inning — a two-bagger down the right field line that scored Campbell. Designated hitter Kevin Gonzalez added an RBI sacrifice fly during the inning to push CVCC's advantage to 9-0.

After Rod Munoz scored on a bases-loaded wild pitch in the fifth inning, Consolo's two-run double to left field plated teammates David Kennedy and Healy to extend the Red Hawk advantage to 12-0.

The Indians broke up the shutout bid in the bottom of the fifth inning when first baseman Zachary Hayes reached base on a fielder's choice, plating shortstop Pierceson Nance for Salk's first run.

Healy answered the score for Catawba Valley in the top of the sixth inning, driving in shortstop Mason Lyda on a double to left field. CVCC scored two more runs during the seventh — an RBI single by Lyda and catcher Willie Gordon scored on a passed ball.

USC Salkehatchie attempted to overcame its large deficit in the final half-inning, scoring a run on a Jan Carlos Maldonado RBI double, but the Indians stranded runners on second and third base to end the game.

On the mound, CVCC starting pitcher Andrew Patrick improved to 3-0 on the season. He allowed just four hits, one walk and struck out four batters in four innings of work.

Elijah Carr and Austin Blevins finished the final three innings on the mound, combining to allow three hits, two earned runs, two walks and six strikeouts.

Game two: No. 18 Catawba Valley 3, USC Salkehatchie 1

Trailing by one run through five innings, the Red Hawks rallied with three late-inning runs to come away with the doubleheader sweep Wednesday against the Indians.

USC Salkehatchie took a quick 1-0 lead in the first inning when shortstop Pierceson Nance doubled and later scored on a wild pitch by CVCC starting pitcher Chris Banks.

Catawba Valley struggled to find its offense early in Wednesday's second and final game, tallying just two hits and stranding three runners on base during the first four innings of the contest.

Banks helped keep CVCC within striking distance in the nightcap of Wednesday's twin bill, allowing just three hits and striking out six batters in his 3.1 innings of work.

Timothy Davila relieved Banks in the fourth inning, working out of a jam with runners on second and third base to keep it a 1-0 contest through four complete innings.

The Red Hawks finally broke through to tie the game in the fifth inning, loading the bases on back-to-back singles by catcher Cole Chapman and shortstop Mason Lyda and a walk by center fielder Malik Stephens before second baseman R.J. Conner plated the tying run on a sac fly to center field.

Despite the one-out sac fly, CVCC could do no more damage, keeping the game tied at 1-1.

Davila remained poised, dodging trouble again in the bottom of the fifth inning by stranding Indian runners on first and second base to keep the game deadlocked at one run.

After a scoreless and hitless sixth inning by both teams, the Red Hawks completed their comeback in the top of the seventh inning, loading the bases on a walk by Lyda, a double to left field by Stephens and a walk by Conner before freshman left fielder Jackson Brown delivered the eventual game-winning two-run single to left field.

Sophomore reliever Greg Collins closed out his team's 19th victory, retiring two of the three batters he faced in the bottom of the seventh inning on strikeouts to earn his first save of the season.

Davila picked up the win on the mound, improving to 2-0 on the season. He gave up two hits, no walks or runs and struck out four batters in 2.2 innings of work.

After a rare off weekend, the CVCC baseball team returns to action on Tuesday with a road non-conference doubleheader against D1 powerhouse Walters State, who is currently ranked No. 2 in the nation.

First pitch between the Red Hawks and Senators in Morristown, Tenn. is set for 1 p.m.