February 9, 2007
Baseball Gives Top-Ranked Tampa Battle in 7-5 Loss
TAMPA, FL -- Catawba College fell to top-ranked Tampa 7-5 in baseball action on Friday night at the Tampa Baseball Field. The Spartans improve to 4-1 with the win, while the Catawba Indians fall to 4-2. The game marked a rematch of last season’s South Region final which was won by Tampa.
David Thomas (Winston-Salem, NC) helped the Tribe grab the early lead. He led off with a single, later stole third, and scored on a two-out single by Chad Baker (Jamestown, NC). Catawba would leave the bases loaded in the inning as Tampa averted further damage.
The Spartans tied the score in the third as Junior Mejia (Ventnor, NJ) led off with a single and later scored on a RBI groundout by Ryan Kennedy (Bradenton, FL). Catawba grabbed the lead right back on a solo homer by Baker in the fourth. Tampa answered in the fifth on a two-out RBI single by Jose Jimenez (Miami, FL) and took the lead in the sixth on a run-scoring single by Nolan Brannon (St. Petersburg, FL).
Brannon extended the lead in the seventh with a two-run single and Mejia drove home another run on a fielder’s choice to give Tampa a 7-2 lead after seven. Catawba got three runs back in the eighth with Brett Hatley (Salisbury, NC) driving home two with a two-out single. That would be all for the Tribe as Jonathan Holt (Leesburg, FL) struck out the side in the ninth to earn his second save.
Kevin Ferguson (Port St. Lucie, FL) tossed six innings to earn the win and move to 2-0. He allowed six hits and two runs with eight strikeouts. Tim Smith (1-1) allowed four runs on 11 hits with three strikeouts in taking the loss for the Indians.
Roberto Mena (Rio Grande, PUERTO RICO) collected three hits for the Spartans with Brannon delivering three RBI. Thomas, Baker and Zach Evans (Greensboro, NC) each had a pair of hits for Catawba.
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