April 1, 2006
#4 Baseball moves to top of SAC with pair of wins over #28 TusculumSALISBURY, NC – Catawba College used a pair of strong starts from Tim Smith (Walnut Cove, NC) and Blake Ketner (Kannapolis, NC) to sweep Tusculum College in South Atlantic Conference baseball action Saturday afternoon at Newman Park. The Indians, ranked #4 in NCAA II, picked up an 11-5 win in game one and an 8-4 victory in the nightcap to improve to 33-6 overall and stand atop the SAC standings at 13-1. The 28th-ranked Pioneers fall to 24-12-1 and 10-4.
The Tribe struck first in the opener as Jerry Sands (Clayton, NC) belted a solo homerun to center in the second. A third-inning grand slam from Jimbo Davis (Salisbury, NC), who went over the 200 RBI mark for his career, catapulted the lead to 5-0. Trailing by six in the sixth the Pioneers got on the board with a Greg Stotser (Columbus, GA) two-run blast. Small ball and a TC error plated another run for Catawba in the sixth as David Thomas (Winston-Salem, NC) picked up a RBI-single scoring Chad Baker (Jamestown, NC) who led off reaching on the Pioneer miscue.
Adam Beacham (Atlanta, GA) would connect with a three-run HR in the top of the eighth to bring the Pioneers to within two, but the Tribe would put a four spot on the bottom of the frame as another Pioneer error kept the inning alive. Matt Smith (Brown Summitt, NC) would pick up a RBI-double, while Mark Smith (Brown Summitt, NC) and Sands would deliver run-scoring singles.
Matt Riggs (Dayton, TN) would score a TC run in the ninth on a sacrifice fly but Mark Smith would close the door on the Pioneers to preserve the win. Tim Smith would toss seven and two-thirds innings on four run ball to pick up his tenth win of the season. TC starter Brent Gabel (Conneautville, PA) surrendered seven runs in seven innings of work while striking out eight in the loss.
In game two, the Indians tallied early again as Thomas led off the bottom of the first with a solo-HR followed by a Sands sacrifice fly. Sands picked up another RBI in the fifth on an infield single while another Pioneer error led to the second run of the frame giving the Tribe a 5-0 lead through five innings. Catawba would add three in the sixth, taking advantage of the third TC miscue as Davis was credited with a sacrifice fly on a deep fly to right that was misplayed.
Tusculum made things interesting with four runs in the top of the seventh as Skip Talarek (Great Falls, VA) picked up a RBI single while Riggs registered a RBI double. On Riggs’ double, Talarek was thrown out at the plate trying to score from first for the second out of the inning. Stotser would send a two-run shot to left cutting the Indian lead to four, but Zach Evans (Greensboro, NC) came in to strike out Kenny Reed (Knoxville, TN) to end the Pioneer threat. Ketner allowed four runs in six and two-thirds innings moving to 5-1 on the year. Kenny Lewis (Scottsville, VA) was roughed up for five runs on nine hits coming one out shy of finishing the fifth.
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