WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. – Winston-Salem State used a solid combination of good pitching, good defense and timely hitting to hold off the Catawba Indians 4-2 on Tuesday evening at BB&T Ballpark in in downtown Winston-Salem.
With the win, The WSSU Rams improve to 27-13 overall, while the Catawba Indians fall to 24-24 on the season.
After a scoreless first inning, Catawba was able to break through and get the game's first run in the second inning, as they plated a run on two hits to take the take the lead 1-0.
Winston-Salem State would bounce back as Colby Keene led off the inning with a single to left field. Conner Andrus advance Keene on a sacrifice bunt, and Levi Grassley would be hit by a pitch. Anthony Nutall would draw a walk to load the bases for Gavin Culler. Culler would bring home Keene on a sacrifice fly to left field, to tie the game at 1-1.
Neither team would be able to push any runs across the plate through the middle innings until the Rams wear able to plate two runs on a hit in the bottom of the sixth inning.
After a Colby Keene walk, Conner Andrus would be hit by a pitch and Levi Grassley walked. The walk forced a pitching change for Catawba, but Alex Grubb, pinch hitting for Anthony Nutall, and would line a pitch to right field to score Colby Keene. Gavin Culler would reach on a fielder's choice, scoring Conner Andrus, to give WSSJU a 3-1 lead.
The Catawba Indians would fight back and would score another run on one hit in the top of the eighth inning to trim the Rams lead to 3-2.
But Winston-Salem State would put the game away in the bottom half of the eighth as Levi Grassley reached on an error by the Catawba third baseman to start the inning. Alex Grubb single before two straight outs threatened the Rams scoring chances. But Rafael Gonzalez would single to center field to score Grassley and give the Rams a 4-2 lea inning into the ninth.
WSSU closer, Devin McLemore would come into the game to try and close out the Indians. McLemore would strike out the first batter, followed by a groundout to Colby Keene at shortstop for the second out. McLemore would strike out the final batter to give the Rams the 4-2 win.
Winston-Salem State was led at the plate by Colby Keene who finished two for three with two runs scored and Alex Grubb finished two for two with a run batted in. Rafael Gonzalez went one for five with a run batted in and Leland Clemmons was one for three. Gavin Culler finished with two runs batted in and Conner Andrus and Levi Grassley each scored a run.
Aaron Hatch (4-3) picked up the win, going 7.0 innings allowing four hits and one run while walking four and striking out three. Eric Corlett pitched an inning of relief, allowing one run on one hit while walking one and striking out one. Devin McLemore picked up his fifth save of the season while pitching a perfect ninth inning.
Winston-Salem State University will travel to hickory, N.C. tomorrow to take on the Bears of Lenoir-Rhyne. First pitch is scheduled for 6:00 p.m.