Baseball takes two from Newberry, Sands streak now at 23

   SALISBURY, NC – Catawba freshman Jerry Sands (Clayton, NC) extended his hitting streak to 23 games and the Indians swept a doubleheader from visiting Newberry 11-1 and 12-0 in South Atlantic Conference baseball action on Saturday afternoon at Newman Park.  Catawba, ranked 10th in NCAA II, wins for the 20th time in 21 games and improves to 27-5 overall and 8-0 in the SAC.  Newberry falls to 6-23-1 and 0-8.  
In the opener, Catawba’s Tim Smith (Walnut Cove, NC) worked out of a first inning jam and went on to toss seven innings, allowing just a single run on six hits with eight strikeouts as the Indians took control after three innings.  Following a soft single center, Newberry put together a pair of infield hits around a sacrifice to load the bases, but Smith got a strikeout and a come-backer to end the threat, helping the sophomore improve to 8-1.

Sands delivered a two-out, two-run single in the first to put Catawba on top and the Indians added five in the third to break the game open.  Matt Smith (Brown Summitt, NC) stole home as part of a double steal for the first run of the inning, while Nick Lefko (Faith, NC) capped the frame with a three-run homer.

Newberry picked up its lone run in the fourth as Ryan Easterby (Charleston, SC) led off with a double and scored on a two-out double by Brandon Gardner (Gaffney, SC).  Chad Baker (Jamestown, NC) extended Catawba’s lead to 9-1 with a two-run homer in the fifth and David Thomas (Winston-Salem, NC) added a solo homer in the sixth.

Jimbo Davis (Salisbury, NC) gave the Tribe a 1-0 lead in the opening inning of game two on a sacrifice fly and Sands followed with an RBI single to extend his streak.  It marked the fourth straight game the rookie prolonged the streak in the first inning.

Catawba would stretch the lead to 8-0 in the fourth, taking advantage of two walks and three hit batters to plate six runs.  Sands delivered a solo homer to start the scoring.  Freshman Blake Ketner (Davidson, NC) tossed a four-hit shutout for the Tribe, walking one and recording six strikeouts.  Anthony Dellinger (Gaffney, SC) had two hits for Newberry.


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