Baseball

Solid pitching leads #15 Baseball to SAC opening wins over Wingate


   SALISBURY, NC – Starters Tim Smith (Walnut Cove, NC) and Alex Fairweather (Lenoir, NC) had a combined 18 strikeouts as 15th-ranked Catawba swept a South Atlantic Conference doubleheader from Wingate University on Saturday afternoon at Newman Park. With the 14-1 and 8-3 wins, the Indians improve to 16-4 overall, 2-0 in the SAC. The Bulldogs fall to 6-14 and 0-2.

Catawba struck first in game one as Jimbo Davis (Salisbury, NC) picked up his first RBI of the afternoon with a two-out base hit, followed by a Jerry Sands (Clayton, NC) RBI double. The Indians would put up seven in the second as Matt Smith (Brown Summitt, NC) got the ball rolling with a RBI single. Mark Smith (Brown Summitt, NC) followed with a two-run single giving the Tribe a 5-0 lead. Davis and Sands would have back-to-back RBI singles before Chad Baker (Jamestown, NC) capped off the frame with a two-run double.

Trailing 11-0, Josh Benton (Gold Hill, NC) would score Brent Simpson (Wadesboro, NC) with his RBI single in the sixth, but the Indians would tack on two more with pinch-hit singles from Matt Kepley (Greensboro, NC) and Brian Sommer (New Port Richey, FL) in the seventh, before Mark Smith would pick up his third RBI with a groundout in the eighth. Tim Smith would toss eight innings of three hit ball, fanning 10. Chad Yow (Stanfield, NC) was roughed up for nine runs on nine hits in one and two-thirds innings.

The nightcap saw Catawba pick up right where the left off scoring in five of their six innings at the plate. Noah Johnson (Huntersville, NC) would pick up a RBI with a two-out single in the second putting the Tribe up 2-0. Sands’ RBI single and Aaron Rimer’s (Salisbury, NC) sacrifice fly would give the Indians a four-run cushion entering the fifth.

Wingate would cut the lead in half taking advantage of two Catawba errors in the fifth with John Kellett (Huntersville, NC) picking up the lone RBI with his groundout. Sands would continue his hitting streak, now at 11 games, with a RBI double in the bottom of the frame. Baker also picked up a double, scoring two runs, giving Catawba a 7-2 lead.

Zach Evans (Greensboro, NC) picked up a sacrifice fly in the sixth before Wingate would try and mount a comeback in the seventh. Bryan Baylis (Pocomoke City, MD) picked up a RBI single with the bases loaded cutting the deficit to five, but on the same play Sands would gun down Michael Parker (Snow Camp, NC) trying to score from second to end the threat. Fairweather went five innings, scattering three hits striking out eight, improving his mark to 4-0 on the year.

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