Baseball

Baker sets hit record, but Baseball falls 9-5 at LR

HICKORY, NC -- Lenoir-Rhyne avoided a series sweep with a 9-5 win over visiting Catawba in South Atlantic Conference baseball action on Sunday afternoon at Bears Field. The Bears improve to 19-19 on the year and 5-10 in the SAC, the Indians fall to 31-12 and 12-3 and back into a tie with Tusculum atop the league standings. The Bears jumped ahead in the first inning on a three-run home run by John Verdinek (High Point, NC), taking advantage of a two-our Tribe error. The score remained 3-0 until the Indians tied it with three in the fifth inning behind Matt Baker's (Charlotte, NC) two-run double and Aaron Rimerís (Salisbury, NC) RBI single. Baker had an infield single in the first and his double was his 81st hit of the season to break Chad Hillís record of 80 set in 2001. Catawba would take the lead in the sixth as David Hughes (Apex, NC) connected on a two-run home run to make it 5-3. The home run was the 62nd on the year by the Tribe, which ties the school mark. L-R got out of further trouble as Jimbo Davis (Salisbury, NC) grounded into a double play to end the inning. The Bears took the momentum into their sixth and scored four times to retake the lead. Four consecutive two-out hits and an Indian error gave the Bears a 7-5 lead. Freshman shortstop Taylor MacCurdy's (Charlotte, NC) run-scoring single proved to be the game winner. Lenoir-Rhyne added single runs in the seventh and eight innings to make it a 9-5 final. Freshman Dennis Downey (Waynesville, NC) struck out 11 batters while going the distance and picking up the win. Downey improved to 3-0 on the year, while Zach Snyder (Lexington, NC) suffered the loss for Catawba. Verdinek was two-for-three with three runs scored and three RBI and Matt Wiley (Charlotte, NC) was four-for-five to lead the Bears on offense. For Catawba, Baker and Hughes each had a pair of hits and two RBI and Baker finished the weekend series with 13 runs batted in. ######

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