The 18th-ranked Catawba Valley Community College baseball team kicked off the home portion of its 2021 season on Saturday against USC Salkehatchie with a ton of offense and some program history.
During the doubleheader split against the Indians, the Red Hawks scored 26 runs, and freshman Brett Banks became the first CVCC pitcher to throw a perfect game during the second game of the set.
Following Saturday’s results, CVCC’s record is now 3-1 on the season.
Game one: USC Salkehatchie 17, No. 19 CVCC 16
In a game that featured a combined 33 runs and 28 hits by both teams, the Red Hawks came up one run short in a nine-inning slugfest against the Indians during the first game of the set on Saturday.
Colt Byars led the Red Hawks offensively with four hits. James Hinson added three hits on offense for CVCC, while Malik Stephens drove in three runs.
USC Salkehatchie scored three runs in the first inning to surge ahead early before Catawba Valley answered with a five-run second inning to take a 5-3 lead through two complete.
The Indians tied the game at 5-5 by scoring two runs in the top of the third inning, but the Red Hawks answered with one run each in the third and fourth innings to go ahead 7-5 after four complete innings.
An eight-run sixth inning put USC Salkehatchie in control 13-7, but CVCC answered with eight runs of its own in the bottom of the seventh inning to pull within 17-16 of the Indians.
However, Catawba Valley would be held scoreless in the eighth and ninth innings, which allowed USCS to hold on for the one-run victory.
Game two: No. 19 CVCC 10, USC Salkehatchie 0 (seven innings)
Brett Banks became the first-ever CVCC pitcher to throw a perfect game, helping the Red Hawks earn the shutout during the nightcap of Saturday’s doubleheader.
The no-hit performance by Banks was the sixth in program history and the fourth in the past two seasons. He joins Bryce Hensley, Cole Whitney, Blake Dockery and Andrew Patrick on the list of Red Hawk hurlers to toss a no-hitter.
Banks’ stellar play on the mound was aided by 12 hits on offense, including three off the bat of Jackson Brown, who also scored two runs and drove in two RBI.
Teammates Chandler Blackwelder and Elec Yount also had two hits apiece, while Lane Rhodes and Malik Stephens drove in two runs each.
The CVCC baseball team completes its three-game series with the Indians on Sunday. First pitch at Henkel-Alley Field is set for noon.