Baseball Set to Open Season on Friday vs. Wingate

Sands and Evans named pre-season All-Americans


Catawba College will open its 2007 baseball season this weekend in a tournament with three other South Atlantic Conference teams at Fieldcrest Cannon Stadium in Kannapolis, NC.  Catawba and Wingate will open play on Friday at 6 p.m.  Tickets are $5 and $2 for Catawba students, faculty and staff.  Three games are set for Saturday: Tusculum vs. Newberry, 11 am; Tusculum vs. Wingate, 2:30 pm; Wingate vs. Newberry, 6 pm.  Catawba will face Tusculum on Sunday at 1 pm and Newberry at 4 pm. 

The Sunday game with Tusculum pits the pre-season league co-favorites.  The teams have shared the league title each of the past two seasons with the Tribe claiming the outright crown in 2004.  Catawba and Tusculum both received 73 points in the SAC pre-season coaches’ poll with the Tribe gaining five first-place votes to three for the Pioneers.  The two teams also begin the year ranked in the Collegiate Baseball pre-season Top 40.  Tusculum stands 25th and Catawba is 28th.

 The Catawba Indians feature a pair of Baseball America pre-season All-America selections in senior pitcher, Zach Evans, and sophomore outfielder, Jerry Sands.  Evans holds the Catawba record with 22 career saves, while Sands hit .399 with 16 homers in his first collegiate season.  The Tribe claimed its third straight SAC title last season and advanced to the South Region Championship Game after its record season that saw the squad post a 47-14 mark.

Catawba also led the way with seven pre-season All-SAC picks.  First team selections were Sands, junior pitcher Tim Smith, who set a school record with 13 wins in 2006, sophomore pitcher Alex Fairweather and junior outfielder David Thomas, who set a school mark with 100 hits last year.  Making the second team were sophomore pitcher Blake Ketner, junior second baseman Chad Baker and Evans.

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