Baseball Settles For Doubleheader Split at Lenoir-Rhyne


HICKORY, NC -- Catawba and host Lenoir-Rhyne split a South Atlantic Conference baseball doubleheader on Friday afternoon at Bears Field.  Catawba took the opener 9-3, while the Bears rallied for an 8-7 win in the nightcap.  Lenoir-Rhyne now stands at 17-17 overall and 8-3 in the SAC.  The Catawba Indians are 21-11 and 9-5.

Chad Baker (Jamestown, NC/Ragsdale HS) hit a pair of solo home runs to help Catawba take the opener.  The Indians got an unearned run and a Baker homer in the third then got a solo shot from Jerry Sands (Clayton, NC/Smithfield-Selma HS) in the fifth for a 3-0 lead. 

The Bears pulled within a run after five, but Baker added his second home run and Craige Lyerly (Salisbury, NC/E. Rowan HS) a two-run single to push the Catawba advantage to 6-2.  Brett Hatley (Salisbury, NC/W. Rowan HS) added a two-run single in the eighth for insurance.

Tim Smith (Walnut Cove, NC/S. Stokes HS) got the win as his scattered eight hits and allowed two earned runs over five and two-thirds innings.  Tim Holmes (Bay Village, OH/Bay HS) and Travis McSweeney (Palm Harbor, FL/East Lake HS) closed out the game with three and a third innings of scoreless relief.

Sands went 4-for-4 and scored three times in the opener.  Lyerly and Ryan Query (Kannaplis, NC/Brown HS) each had three hits.  JD Harrison had three hits for the Bears.

Catawba held a 7-1 lead in the night cap, but L-R scored seven times in its final two at bats to steal the win.  The Bears picked up four runs in the seventh, scoring the winning run on an errant throw with one out, as the Indians failed to put the game away.

The Indians looked to have command after taking a 6-0 lead following a four-run fifth inning.  Query singled home a run, Lyerly had a RBI double and Kevin McMillan (Salisbury, NC/N. Rowan HS) capped the frame with a two-run single.

Lenoir-Rhyne started its rally in the sixth with two outs, getting a walk and three straight singles to plate a pair of runs and chase starter Blake Ketner (Davidson, NC/NW Cabarrus HS).  Catawba still led 7-4 entering the seventh, but Harrison led off with a double which was followed by two walks.  Zachary Glass singled home a pair of runs to cut the margin to 7-6.  After a sacrifice and an intentional walk, Glass scored from second on an errant thrown on a grounder to short by Mark Drucker.

David Thomas (Winston-Salem, NC/Ledford HS) led Catawba at the plate, going 3-for-3 with three runs scored.  Lyerly and Query added two more hits, giving them five each for the doubleheader. 

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