#25 Baseball powers past Wingate 5-1 in SAC pre-season tournament opener

KANNAPOLIS, NC – Starter Tim Smith (Walnut Cove, NC) tossed eight strong innings, allowing just one run while striking out six leading Catawba College to a 5-1 win over Wingate University in the opening night of a South Atlantic Conference pre-season baseball tournament Friday night at Fieldcrest-Cannon Stadium. The 25th-ranked Indians improve to 10-4 on the year. The Bulldogs fall to 4-11. Both teams crossed the plate in the first inning as Catawba picked up a RBI infield single from Jimbo Davis (Salisbury, NC) in the top of the frame. Wingate responded with their lone run in the bottom half when Josh Benton (Gold Hill, NC) lifted a sacrifice fly scoring Brent Simpson (Wadesboro, NC) who led off with a base hit. A safety squeeze in the second inning gave the Tribe a 2-1 lead as Noah Johnson (Huntersville, NC) dropped down the bunt bringing in Jerry Sands (Clayton, NC). The Indians would add insurance as Nick Lefko (Faith, NC) blasted a homerun to lead off the fourth, followed by Matt Smith’s (Brown Summitt, NC) RBI groundout. Davis would wrap things up with a round-tripper to straight away center field in the fifth for Catawba. Smith picked up his third win of the season while Chad Yow (Stanfield, NC) went the distance surrendering five runs on nine hits, while fanning eight. Both teams will be back in action tomorrow as Wingate will face Newberry at 2:30, followed by Catawba and Newberry at 6:00 in the second day of the pre-season SAC tournament. ######

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