College baseball: Indians debut sweep in renovated Newman Park – Reuters Sports News
By Mike London
SALISBURY — Maddux Holshouser went no-hitter for five innings, faced just 16 batters and threw just 53 pitches, but he didn’t return to the mound for the sixth.
Catawba baseball coach Jim Gantt made his first tough decision in the spacious new dugout at renovated Newman Park.
It worked. The Catawba bullpen nailed the last six outs and the Indians won 2-1 over Shippensburg (0-5) for a double sweep on a Saturday blessed with May-like weather.
There was a good lesson in all of this for a Catawba team with a ton of new faces and some veterans in new places. Let’s win the game first. We’ll deal with individual achievements later.
“Maddux was really good today and I was aware he was trying to throw a no hit,” Gantt said. “But he had started losing zip on his fastball, and they were getting back to the top of the lineup, and it was time. We wanted to come out on top more than we wanted a no-hitter. We needed this one. .
Holshouser also pitched superbly on Catawba’s season-opening trip to Florida, but mistakes hurt him and he didn’t get a call. He got the win this time.
Ryan Street gave up a solo homer in the sixth. Dawson Painter came up to the mound from right field and finished a one-hitter combination. He deserved the stoppage with a good seventh.
Catawba’s offense was not overwhelming, scraping two unearned runs. Point guard Joe Butts singled and scored at third and walked and scored at fifth. Butts put himself in position to score both times with interceptions.
It was a strange game for Newman Park, with just three tackles and lasting 91 net minutes, but that may be a sign of things to come now that he is 370 feet from center field and deeper in the alleys.
“Park is definitely going to play a bit bigger, but the main thing for us right now offensively is to hit better with men in scoring position,” Gantt said. “We will work on it.”
In Saturday’s opener, the Indians went 5-0 down, but fought back and won 6-5 in 10 innings.
Painter hit a home run down the left field line to cut the deficit to 5-4 in the sixth. It was the first homer thrown in the renovated park.
“A ball hit like that will usually snag, but this one stayed straight and fair,” Gantt said. “It was a big one.”
Catawba tied it at 5 all when Butts charged home on Dylan Wilkinson’s hit in the seventh.
Cameron Mills delivered the winning shot in the 10th.
Catawba starting pitcher Greg Brown bounced back from a tough first inning to keep the Indians in the game for six innings. Michael Gracer was untouchable outside the bullpen while scoring seven outs.
“Gracer was really nervous when he first pitched for us in Florida, but he’s already made the difference in two wins,” Gantt said.
Closer Robbie Cowie didn’t allow a hit in the ninth or 10th innings and was credited with the win.
The new park was a hit with hundreds of fans, and it was a solid day for the Indians.
“We have a very long way to go, but this team has a fight,” Gantt said. “We came back from 8-0 for that first win in Florida and we came back from 5-0 today. It’s encouraging.
Shippensbourg 310,010,000 0 — 5 10 1
Catawba 000 031 100 1 — 6 10 0
W — Cowie (1-0).
HR — Painter (1).
Shippensbourg 000 001 0 — 1 1 2
Catawba 001 010 x — 2 4 0
W—Holshouser (1-0). S — Painter (1)