Baseball

Wilson fans career-high 16 as Baseball wins SAC Tourney opener

FORT MILL, SC -- Behind a career-high 16 strikeouts from Thomas Wilson, top-seeded Catawba shut out No. 8 Mars Hill, 4-0, in the first round of the 2004 Food Lion South Atlantic Conference Thursday night at Knights Stadium. Catawba, now 37-15, will face No. 5 Carson-Newman on Friday at Knights Stadium, while Mars Hill (15-36) takes on Presbyterian in an elimination game on Friday at Winthrop University in Rock Hill, SC. Both games are scheduled for 12:45 p.m. Wilson (7-3) limited the Lions to four hits in eight innings, while walking one and hitting a batter. His 16 strikeouts were two shy of the 1965 record of 18 set by Jerry Maye. Zach Evans took over for Wilson in the ninth and fanned two batters as the Indians tied the school mark of 18 strikeouts set by Maye in the 1965 game vs. Western Carolina. Clinging to a 2-0 lead in the sixth inning, Catawba got some breathing room thanks to Matt Baker's two-run home run. Mars Hill's Chris Merchant (3-8) pitched will in the loss, limiting the Indians to four hits, while striking out nine and allowing two earned runs in going the distance. Merchant retired 11 in a row at one point while Wilson sat down 10 consecutive batters another time during the contest. Catawba got on the board in the second inning on a clutch two-out, two-run double by senior catcher Jeff Boyles. The shutout for Catawba was the seventh of the season, also tying a school mark. #####

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