May 13, 2004
Baseball knocks off #2 Rollins in NCAA II South Region OpenerWINTER PARK, Fla. – Mark Smith (Browns Summit, NC) came up with a big two out RBI single with the score tied in the ninth to give #3 Catawba a 4-3 victory over top seeded Rollins in game two of the NCAA Division II South Region Tournament. Smith led the Indians at the plate, going 3-5 with a pair of RBI and a run scored. Spence Southard (Greensboro, NC) and Scott Searles (Boston, MA) each knocked out a hit and batted in a run. Thomas Wilson (Smithfield, NC) threw a gem for Catawba (42-15), allowing 11 hits and three runs while striking out 11 in eight and two thirds innings of work. Tito Alfonso went 3-5 with a run scored while Toby Rice banged out a pair of hits and a pair of RBI to lead Rollins (42-10) at the plate. Nick Manson suffered the loss in relief, surrendering one hit and one run in one and two thirds innings of work. Steve Edsall started the game for the Tars, letting up five hits and two runs while fanning seven in seven frames on the hill. The contest started as a pitchers duel with neither team threatening until the Catawba half of the fifth. Searles singled up the middle to lead off the stanza and eventually crossed the plate on a Smith single through the left side to put the visitors up 1-0. Rollins came back and took the lead in the seventh when Rice smashed a single up the middle that plated Manson and Jeff Halbert and gave the Tars a 2-1 advantage. The Indians jumped back on top in the eighth behind a Southard RBI single and a sac fly to left from Searles, making the score 3-2. The Tars knotted the count once again in the bottom of the frame with a Juan Dieguez single up the middle that brought in Alfonso. Thomas Giles (Lynchburg, VA) was plunked to lead off the Catawba ninth, then advanced to second on a Jeff Boyles (Pinnacle, NC) sac bunt. Smith then stepped to the plate and laced a single to right, giving the Indians the lead and the eventual one run victory. Catawba advances to play Florida Southern on Friday, May 14th at 3:00 p.m. in the winners bracket with the victor moving on to the South Region Championship game. Rollins will take on Tampa at 11:00 p.m. on Friday, May 14th in the losers bracket. All games in the South Regional will be contested at Alfond Stadium in Winter Park.
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