Mark Smith hits three doubles as Baseball tops PC 8-5

KANNAPOLIS, NC – Catawba College finished off the weekend sweep in the South Atlantic Conference pre-season baseball tournament with an 8-5 win over Presbyterian College on a brisk Sunday afternoon at Fieldcrest-Cannon Stadium. The Indians, ranked #25 in NCAA II, improve to 12-4. The Blue Hose fall to 8-9.      
Catawba struck in the first for the third straight night as Mark Smith (Brown Summit, NC) delivered a one-out double scoring David Thomas (Winston-Salem, NC), who opened the game with a base hit and advanced to second on a wild pitch.  In the second, Chad Baker (Jamestown, NC) opened with a walk and later scored on Noah Johnson's (Huntersville, NC) single putting the Tribe up 2-0.  

PC had a chance for a big inning in the second but could only muster one run.  Josue Scott (Columbus, GA) lined into a double play with the bases loaded and no outs.  The Blue Hose did manage a run as Andrew Cockerham (Millers Creek, NC) delivered a RBI single later in the inning.  The Indians would respond to the PC run with a pair of their own in the top of the third as Nick Lefko (Faith, NC) hit a sacrifice fly and Ryan Query (Kannapolis, NC) followed with a RBI single.

Presbyterian took advantage of two Indian errors in the third, including a dropped fly ball by Jimbo Davis (Salisbury, NC) which would have been the third out, but instead scored Cory Lyda (Simpsonville, SC) and Kyle Craven (Savannah, GA) cutting the Tribe lead to 4-3.  Davis' sacrifice fly and Aaron Rimer's (Salisbury, NC) base hit gave the Tribe a brief three run lead before PC scored a pair in the bottom of the fourth with a two out double from Clay Belton (Ridgeway, SC) and a triple from Lyda.

Catawba would extend the lead to 7-5 in the sixth with a two out RBI single from Jerry Sands (Clayton, NC) bringing in Mark Smith, who raked his third double of the night.  PC's fourth miscue of the night led to Sands crossing the plate as the Indians took their final lead of 8-5 at the end of sixth.

Matt Smith picked up the win, tossing six innings and allowing five runs on seven hits.  Zach Evans (Greensboro, NC) shut the door in the ninth picking up his fourth save of the season.  Robert Cole (Savannah, GA) tossed 128 pitches in the loss of PC.  


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