March 25, 2008
Baseball Knocks Off Top-Ranked Mount Olive, Splits Doubleheader
MOUNT OLIVE, NC – Catawba picked up a split a baseball doubleheader with top-ranked Mount Olive on Tuesday afternoon at Scarborough Field. The Trojans had to go extra innings to take the opener 3-2, while Craige Lyerly (Salisbury, NC/E. Rowan HS) collected six RBI in a 9-3 Catawba win in the nightcap. The Catawba Indians, ranked 28th in NCAA II, now stand at 23-12, while the Trojans are 34-3.
The Trojans won the scheduled seven-inning opener in the 10th on a one-out single by Jesse Lancaster that scored Anthony Williams from second. Williams had drawn a leadoff walk and stole second with one out before the single by Lancaster.
Lancaster had put Mount Olive ahead in the first inning with a groundout to short after a leadoff triple by David Cooper. Blake Ketner (Davidson, NC/NW Cabarrus HS) would allow only one baserunner after the leadoff triple in his four innings, which was a walk in the fourth.
Catawba took the lead with single runs in the fourth and fifth innings. Jerry Sands (Clayton, NC/Smithfield-Selma HS) led off the fourth with a single and stole second. He scored after an overthrow as he stole third. In the fifth, Weston Church (Salisbury, NC/W. Rowan HS) led off with a single and later scored on a groundout by Chad Baker (Jamestown, NC/Ragsdale HS).
The Indians took the lead into the seventh, but Jason Sherrer tied the game on a leadoff home run. Catawba threatened in the top of the 10th, putting a pair of runners on with a single by David Thomas (Winston-Salem, NC/Ledford HS) and a walk by Baker. Patrick Ball worked out of one-out trouble as he struck out Sands and got Ryan Query (Kannapolis, NC/Brown HS) on a groundout.
Catawba struck first in the nightcap as Lyerly delivered a two-out single to plate Thomas and Baker. Thomas led off the game with a single and Baker drew a walk. Both moved up a base on a balk before strikeouts of Sands and Query. A two-out single by Baker in the second pushed the margin to 3-0.
Mount Olive would rally to tie the game after three. Rich Racobaldo led off the second with a walk and would score on a wild pitch after moving to third on Dylan Holton’s double. Tribe starter Travis McSweeney (Palm Harbor, FL/East Lake HS) got out of the secobd without further damage, but the Trojans scored twice in the third. Erik Lovett doubled home a run and Holton tied the game with a two-out single.
Catawba struck right back in the fourth as Lyerly’s drilled a three-run homer following a run-scoring single by Query to give the Indians a 7-3 lead. Query’s single came after Sands was intentionally walked, following a steal of second by Thomas.
Lyerly tripled home a run in the sixth to cap a 3-for-4 outing. Brett Hatley (Salisbury, NC/W. Rowan HS) got the win as he kept Trojans off the board during five innings of relief. He allowed just three hits and struck out three. He also chipped in with a RBI and two hits at the plate.
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