Baseball

Baseball sets win record; advances to SAC Championship Game

GREENEVILLE, TN – Freshman Alex Fairweather (Lenoir, NC) tossed five strong innings and a trio of Catawba relievers tossed three and two-thirds innings of shutout relief as the eighth-ranked Indians defeated 21st-ranked Tusculum 9-2 in the winner’s bracket final of the 2006 Food Lion South Atlantic Conference Baseball Tournament on Saturday night at Pioneer Park. The Indians set a school record for wins in a season as the Tribe improves to 43-11. Tusculum falls to 37-13-1 and will face Mars Hill in an elimination game on Sunday morning for a chance to meet Catawba in the championship.

David Thomas (Winston-Salem, NC) continued his outstanding day with a leadoff homerun in the bottom of the first. Matt Smith (Brown Summitt, NC) followed with a double and scored on a groundout to Matt Smith (Brown Summitt, NC). Aaron Rimer (Salisbury, NC) gave Catawba a 3-0 lead with a RBI single.

Tusculum, who had won 14 straight, battled back as Tim Brown (Flint, MI) delivered a RBI double and Aaron Hudgins (Kingsport, TN) drove home a run on a groundout as the Pioneers closed within 3-2. Thomas would triple with two outs in the second for Catawba and scored on a single by Matt Smith for a 4-2 edge.

The Indians broke the game open in the fourth, scoring four runs on just one hit. Thomas drew a leadoff walk and stole second, while Matt Smith was hit by a pitch. Jimbo Davis (Salisbury, NC) greeted Pioneer reliever Jonathan Davis (Rison, AR) with a RBI single and after three straight walks and a sacrifice fly by Chad Baker (Jamestown, NC) Catawba moved on top 8-2.

The Catawba pitching was the story from there as Fairweather tossed five and a third innings, allowing two runs on six hits while fanning eight as he improved to 9-2. Brian Benton (Wallace, NC), Mark Smith and Baker finished the game and allowed the Pioneers just one hit. Baker finished the game with two innings of work, allowing a hit with a strikeout.

Matt Smith had three hits for the Tribe with a pair of RBI, while Thomas had a pair of hits and scored three runs. Rimer also drove home two runs. Greg Stotser (Columbus, GA) collected three hits for Tusculum, while Brown had two hits. #####

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