Baseball Wins Home Opener On Thomas' 10th-Inning Home Run

Tim Smith strikes out a dozen in no decision


SALISBURY, NC -- Catawba’s David Thomas (Winston-Salem, NC/Ledford HS) hit a walk-off home run to lead off the 10th inning to give the 29th-ranked Indians a 2-1 win over visiting Newberry in South Atlantic Conference baseball action on Friday night at Newman Park.  The Catawba Indians improve to 7-2 overall and 1-0 in the SAC, while Newberry falls to 306 and 0-1.

 Thomas ended the pitching duel, driving a 1-2 pitch to right center.  It was just the third hit on the night for Catawba.  Each team scored in the opening inning, Newberry getting a solo home run from Jovan Rohena (Trujillo Alto, PUERTO RICO) and Catawba pushing across a run on a bases loaded walk to Andrew O’Neal (King, NC/W. Stokes HS).  Thomas was hit by a pitch to open the first, then Jerry Sands (Clayton, NC/Smithfield-Selma HS) and Ryan Query (Kannapolis, NC/Brown HS) drew one-out walk before O’Neal drew his free pass with two outs.

Newberry starter Josh McElwee (Andrews, SC) would settle down after the first and allowed just one hit, a third inning single by Query, and struck out eight before he left with one out in the fifth.  Stephen Byrd (Vero Beach, FL) entered with runners on the corners and one out, but got Sands to hit into a double play to end the inning.  The other Catawba his was by Sands in the eighth.

Catawba starter Tim Smith (Walnut Cove, NC/S. Stokes HS) was dominate, allowing just four hits with no walks and a career-high 12 strikeouts.  After a leadoff single by Nick Martin (Morehead City, NC) in the second, Smith retired 17 straight batters until Martin again reached on a hit with two outs in the seventh.  Catawba reliever Matt Seabolt (Asheboro, NC/Asheboro HS) hit Martin to open the 10th, but got the next three batter and would pick up the win to move to 2-0.

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