Late game collapse costly for Red Hawks in 5-4 loss

Late game collapse costly for Red Hawks in 5-4 loss

MARTINSVILLE, Va. — Despite leading by two runs heading into the final half inning, the 17th-ranked Catawba Valley Community College baseball team was dealt a difficult 5-4 walk-off loss in the series finale against Patrick Henry Community College on Sunday afternoon at Hooker Field.

It was the third time this season that the Red Hawks, who fall to 22-12 overall and 9-5 in Region X play, lost a game in walk-off fashion by a 5-4 score.

Catawba Valley seized early control of Sunday's match up, plating two runs in the first inning on a bases-loaded wild pitch and an RBI single by catcher Willie Gordon.

That early lead allowed CVCC starting pitcher Trae Starnes to settle in. The sophomore from Taylorsville, N.C. allowed just three hits, two unearned runs, one walk and struck out five batters in four innings of work.

Patrick Henry (14-12, 8-4) tied the contest in the fourth inning when third baseman Chandler Kelley's two-out, two-RBI single scored teammates Paul Wise and Clayton Nestor.

Catawba Valley battled back to gain the late edge thanks to a pinch-hit double by Rod Munoz, which led to an RBI sac fly by second baseman R.J. Conner to make it a 3-2 lead for the Red Hawks.

CVCC added an insurance run to its lead in the top of the ninth inning on a bases-loaded walk by third baseman Grant Tilley, which plated first baseman Tyler Campbell.

Those late runs put the Red Hawks in position for their 10th conference win of the season.

However, a one-out walk by Patrick Henry left fielder Christian Easley in the bottom of the ninth inning followed by a two-run home run by catcher Chris Brady tied the contest at 4-4.

The Patriots would eventually load the bases on a Brandon Cleveland single, a Gavin Tippett drawn walk and a hit by a pitch of Nestor, setting the stage for Wise's walk-off single to right field.

The CVCC baseball team will attempt to bounce back when it returns to action on Tuesday for a non-conference match up with Rockingham Community College.

First pitch for the single nine-inning game between the Red Hawks and Eagles is at 5 p.m. at Henkel-Alley Field.