Red Hawks sweep opener behind no hitter, run record

Red Hawks sweep opener behind no hitter, run record

HICKORY, N.C. — Dominant both on the mound and at the plate, the Catawba Valley Community College baseball team successfully started its 2020 season on Saturday with a doubleheader sweep against USC Union at Henkel-Alley Field.

Game one: Catawba Valley 4, USC Union 0 (seven innings)

Sophomore pitcher Blake Dockery threw his first career no hitter at CVCC, helping the Red Hawks earn the shutout in their first game of the spring.

USC Union (1-1) threatened early in Saturday's opener when leadoff hitter Justin Kerosetz reached base on an error and eventually advanced to third base during the top of first inning.

Kerosetz would eventually attempt to score, but was thrown out at home plate after a ground ball fielded by third baseman Preston Conner was thrown to catcher Jesse Harkey for the tag out.

Catawba Valley (1-0) broke open the game in the third inning on back-to-back triples by left fielder Jacob Marcos and designated hitter Chandler Blackwelder, which plated the first two Red Hawk runs of 2020.

CVCC pushed its advantage to four runs in the sixth inning when Blackwelder tripled again and later scored on a wild pitch. Right fielder Noah Love also homered during the inning.

Dockery's lone mistake of Saturday's opener came on a sixth-inning walk of USC Union's Genesis Angulo, but the 6-2 sophomore from Harrisburg, N.C. remained poised, retiring the next four batters in a row to seal the four-run, no-hit victory.

Game two: Catawba Valley 24, USC Union 3

The Red Hawks broke the school record for most runs scored in a game during Saturday's nightcap of the doubleheader against the Bantams.

Catawba Valley batters recorded 21 hits — tied for the third-highest total in program history.

Sophomores Chandler Blackwelder and Jackson Brown and freshman Jose Vargas led the way offensively for CVCC (2-0) in the contest, collecting three hits apiece.

Blackwelder added two more extra-base hits to his impressive day in game two — both of them doubles.

Brown recorded his first home run of the spring with a solo shot in the bottom of the third inning, and he added an RBI single in the bottom of the sixth inning. Vargas collected three singles, which all scored one run each.

Taking their first-ever collegiate at bats, freshmen Zack Summerville and Mac Beam both hit home runs in Saturday's second game — Summerville with a three-run blast in the bottom of the fourth and Beam with a grand slam in the bottom of the sixth.

Third basemen Grant Tilley recorded a team-high five RBI for the Red Hawks, going 2-for-6 at the plate, while catcher Colt Byars was 2-for-3 with three RBI.

On the mound, sophomore Mason Herbert earned his first win at Catawba Valley. He allowed two hits, two earned runs, three walks and struck out three batters.

Storm Mace, Austin Blevins, Javier Martinez and Elijah Carr closed out the final four innings in relief, combining to allow only two hits, one earned run, one walk and striking out eight batters.

The CVCC baseball team plays another doubleheader consisting of two seven-inning games against USC Union on Sunday afternoon at Henkel-Alley Field. First pitch is set for 1 p.m.