Baseball Splits A Pair of Shutouts With North Alabama

Ketner extends scoreless streak to 16 innings


FLORENCE, AL -- North Alabama and 26th-ranked Catawba split a baseball doubleheader on Saturday at Lane Field.  Each team picked up a 2-0 win, with the Catawba Indians grabbing the opener and the host Lions the nightcap.  Catawba is now 28-13 on the year, while UNA is 20-14.

Blake Ketner (Davidson, NC/NW Cabarrus HS) tossed six shutout innings and Nathan Furr (Albemarle, NC/W. Stanly HS) worked out of a seventh-inning jam as the Indians posted its second straight shutout in the opener.  Catawba had not played since Ketner shutout Lincoln Memorial by the same 2-0 score back on March 29.

The Indians got on top in the opening inning as David Thomas (Winston-Salem, NC/Ledford HS) led off with a single and scored on a two-out hit by Ryan Query (Kannapolis, NC/Brown HS).  A leadoff double by Chad Baker (Jamestown, NC/Ragsdale, NC) in the fourth and a single by Jerry Sands (Clayton, NC/Smithfield-Selma HS) pushed the lead to 2-0.

That would be all the scoring as Ketner kept the Lions off balance for most of the game.  The junior recorded 16 groundball outs, including a double play ball, and snared a liner back through the box in his six innings.  The only six balls that got out of the Catawba infield were the six UNA singles.

North Alabama would chase Ketner in the seventh as Cole Mitchell and Trey Pollard singled to open the seventh.  Furr was summoned with runners on the corners and got a strikeout before Pollard stole second.  With the tying run at second, the freshman got a pair of groundouts to end the threat and record his second save.  Ketner improved to 6-2 and has now tossed 16 consecutive scoreless innings.

The Lions would match Catawba with a 2-0 shutout in the nightcap.  A two-out single by Josh Graham drove home Collin Murphy, who had singled and advanced to second on an error.  UNA tacked on a second run in the fourth on a single by Nick Newberry, but Alex Fairweather (Lenoir, NC/W. Caldwell HS) limited further damage by standing a pair of runners.

Justin Fleming left after tossing five shutout innings and Catawba threatened off reliever Ryan Miller as Baker reached on an error and Sands singled to open the sixth.  Miller would settle down and strikeout the side to keep the shutout intact then retired the Indians in order in the seventh, including two more strikeouts.  Catawba managed just three hits in game two with UNA collecting five hits.

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