26-hit attack keeps Baseball in first place

MARS HILL, NC -- Freshman Jerry Sands (Clayton, NC) hit two of Catawba’s five home runs and accounted for five RBI as the fourth-ranked Indians kept its one game lead with a 19-3 win over host Mars Hill in South Atlantic Conference baseball action on Friday afternoon at Henderson Field. Catawba improves to 39-10 overall and 16-3 in the SAC, while the Lions fall to 28-24 and 10-9.

Catawba scored in each of the first five innings to take a 10-0 lead. David Thomas (Winston-Salem, NC) singled and scored on a two-out error in the first then doubled with two outs in the second, scoring on an overthrow as he stole third. The Tribe began to pull away in the third. Jimbo Davis (Salisbury, NC) opened the inning with a home run and Chad Baker (Jamestown, NC) and Zach Evans (Greensboro, NC) each added RBI singles in the three-run frame.

Sands hit his first homer in the fourth for a 7-0 lead, while Nick Lefko (Faith, NC) led off the fifth with a home run and Evans added a two-run shot for the 10-0 edge. Mars Hill got on the board in its fifth on a sacrifice fly by Matt Russell (Chapel Hill, NC) and a RBI-single from John Quail (Boonsboro, MD). The Lions had loaded the bases in the second and had two on in the third, but failed to score. Catawba did not score in the sixth, but Sands connected on a three-run homer in the seventh and Mark Smith (Brown Summitt, NC) had a two-run double in the eighth to extend the Tribe margin to 15-2.

Tribe starter Tim Smith (Walnut Cove, NC) went eight innings as he set a new school record with his 12th win of the season. The sophomore scattered seven hits and allowed three runs with three strikeouts. Thomas, Mark Smith and Evans each had four hits in the 26-hit Tribe attack. Lefko and Baker each had three hits. Quail had four of the eight Lion hits, while Jason Yelton (Burnsville, NC) had two hits. #####

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