Baseball

Baseball establishes new record for wins in advancing to title game

FORT MILL, SC -- Top-seeded Catawba College connected on three home runs, including Thomas Giles' three-run blast in the sixth inning as the Indians defeated third-seeded Wingate 9-3 in the winners' bracket final of the 2004 Food Lion South Atlantic Conference Tournament at Knights Stadium on Saturday afternoon. The Indians established a new school record for wins in a season as they improved their record to 39-15 and advance to Sunday's Tournament Championship game against the winner of tonight's elimination bracket final between Wingate and second-seeded Tusculum. Catawba missed several scoring opportunities early on, stranding eight base runners through the first three innings without crossing the plate. The Indians received six walks with one single and one hit batsman during that stretch, but left the bases loaded twice. They finally broke through in the fourth, sending eight batters to the plate to take a 3-0 lead. Junior Mark Smith and SAC Co-Player of the Year Matt Baker both contributed RBI singles in the inning. Catawba padded its lead with two more in the fifth on a home run to dead center field from Smith. Wingate senior David Yount single-handedly cut the Indian lead to four (5-1) on his eighth round-tripper of the season, but Catawba put the game away with four in the sixth, all on home runs. Senior Spence Southard led off the inning with a solo shot to left, and Giles hit his 11th of the year to kick the lead up to 9-1. The Indian hit-parade was spread evenly throughout the lineup, with Smith tallying the only two-hit performance, going 2-for-3 with three RBI. Yount and freshman Jeff Vitaris each had two safeties for the Bulldogs. Freshman Paul Link went six innings and gave up six hits and three earned runs for the win (8-1). WU senior Brett Townsend falls to 0-4. #####

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