Baseball

Sands streak ends at 25 as Baseball splits DH at LR


   HICKORY, NC -- Lenoir-Rhyne and visiting Catawba split a South Atlantic Conference baseball doubleheader on Saturday afternoon at Bears Field.  The Indians, ranked fifth in NCAA II, won the opener 10-2, while Lenoir-Rhyne rallied to take a 6-5 win in the nightcap.  Catawba stands at 29-6 overall and 10-1 in the SAC, while the Bears are 15-19 and 2-9.  
Aaron Rimer (Salisbury, NC) led Catawba in the opener as he went five-for-five with three runs batted in while David Thomas (Winston-Salem, NC) added three hits and three RBI as Catawba scored the last seven runs of the game en route to the win.  Both Rimer and Thomas connected on two-run home runs to lead the Indians' 19-hit attack.

After Lenoir-Rhyne senior catcher John Verdinek (High Point, NC) hit a two-run home run to cut the margin to 3-2 in the bottom of the third inning, Catawba regained control with Thomas' two-run shot in the top of the fourth inning and held L-R scoreless the rest of the way.

Catawba's Tim Smith (Walnut Cove, NC) improved to 9-1 with the victory after limiting the Bears to two runs on six innings pitched to go along with five strikeouts while junior Jesse Jordan (Englewood, FL) fell to 4-6 with the loss for L-R.

The Bears scored two runs in the bottom of the seventh inning of game two to earn the split.  Derek Pugh's (Asheboro, NC) delivered a two-out, game-winning RBI single to right field as the Indians lost for just the second time in 24 games.  

Lenoir-Rhyne plated four runs in the bottom of the third inning to take a 4-2 lead highlighted by Verdinek's two-run double but the Indians rallied with three runs in the top of the fourth for the 5-4 advantage.  Thomas had the key hit in the inning with a two-run single and the game remained that way until Lenoir-Rhyne's heroics in the bottom of the seventh inning.

Josh Keller (Claremont, NC) pitched three and one-third scoreless innings to pick up the win and improve to 4-3 on the year while Catawba's Zach Evans (Greensboro, NC) fell to 2-1 with the loss.

Verdinek tallied two hits and two runs batted in and Billy Doyle (Delray Beach, FL) added two hits and an RBI to lead Lenoir-Rhyne.  Mark Smith (Brown Summitt, NC) hit a solo home run for Catawba, but the Indians' Jerry Sands (Clayton, NC) saw his 25-game hitting streak snapped in game two.

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