Baseball

Thomas, Gantt Earn Major SAC Baseball Awards; Nine Named All-SAC

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ROCK HILL, SC -- Catawba College senior outfielder David Thomas (Winston-Salem, NC/Ledford HS), who helped lead the Indians to the conference championship, and Carson-Newman College senior Brett Hontz took the South Atlantic Conference's top baseball awards.  The awards were presented Wednesday night on the campus of Lenoir-Rhyne College in Hickory, N.C.  The Food Lion SAC Baseball Tournament begins Thursday with three games at Lenoir-Rhyne's Bears Field.

Thomas was named the league's Player of the Year as he leads the conference with a .790 slugging percentage.  He is batting .442 with 15 home runs and 44 RBI.  The senior also swiped 22 bases and scored 61 runs.  Hontz (Newtown Square, PA/Del. County Christian), was named the league's Pitcher of the Year, posting a 9-1 record with a 1.99 earned run average.  He has one complete game shutout and has struck out 82 in 81.1 innings of work.

Catawba Coach Jim Gantt, who guided the Indians to their fourth conference championship in the past five years, was named Coach of the Year.  He wins the award for the fourth time in his career.  Newberry pitcher Josh McElwee (Andrews, S.C./Andrews HS), who lead the conference in total strikeouts and strikeouts per game, was named Freshman of the Year.

Catawba led the way with nine All-Conference selections, including six on the First Team.  Joining Thomas on the First Team are pitcher Blake Ketner (Davidson, NC/NW Cabarrus HS), relief pitcher Tim Holmes (Bay Village, OH/Bay HS), shortstop Chris Ahearn (Charlotte, NC/Providence HS), outfielder Jerry Sands (Clayton, NC/Smithfield-Selma HS), and designated hitter Brett Hatley (Salisbury, NC/W. Rowan HS).  Second Team honors went to catcher Ryan Query (Kannapolis, NC/Brown HS), third baseman Craige Lyerly (Salisbury, NC/E. Rowan HS) and Alex Fairweather (Lenoir, NC/W. Caldwell HS).

Ketner leads Catawba with a 7-2 record and has a 2.69 ERA with two shutouts.  Holmes has a 3-1 mark and a 3.16 ERA, making 18 appearances and tossing 37 innings with 34 strikeouts.  Ahearn is hitting .321 with 21 RBI, Sands leads the team with 18 homers and 68 RBI while hitting .398 and Hatley is hitting .361.  Query sports a .344 average and has knocked in 37 runs, Lyerly is batting .377 with 53 RBI and 22 stolen bases and Fairweather is 6-2with 3.93 ERA. 

Of the nine all-conference performers for the Tribe, seven are juniors.  Thomas is a senior and Lyerly a sophomore.  Thomas is the fourth Catawba Indian to earn Player of the Year honors.  He joins Matt Smith (2006), Matt Baker (2004) and David Trexler (1999).  Thomas Wilson (2002) and Tim Smith (2004) were league Pitchers of the Year.

2008 SOUTH ATLANTIC ALL-CONFERENCE BASEBALL TEAM

FIRST TEAM
C - Christian Rosa, Tusculum
P - Brett Hontz, Carson-Newman
P - Blake Ketner, CATAWBA
P - Boo Morrow, Tusculum
RP - Tim Holmes, CATAWBA
1B - Dustin Morrow, Tusculum
2B - Maikol Gonzalez, Tusculum
SS - Chris Ahearn, CATAWBA
3B - Dan Ford, Lenoir-Rhyne
OF - David Thomas, CATAWBA
OF - Jerry Sands, CATAWBA
OF - Nick Achberger, Carson-Newman
DH - Brett Hatley, CATAWBA

SECOND TEAM
C - Ryan Query, CATAWBA*
C - Mike Dobre, Mars Hill*
P - Raymond Ruggles, Tusculum
P - Alex Fairweather, CATAWBA
P - Brandon Petty, Newberry
RP - Mat Galens, Tusculum
1B - Derek Long, Carson-Newman
2B - Langdon Potts, Carson-Newman
SS - Derek Treece, Lincoln Memorial
3B - Craige Lyerly, CATAWBA
OF - Carlos Rivera, Tusculum
OF - Austin Boehme, Mars Hill
OF - Jason Gray, Carson-Newman
DH - Nick Martin, Newberry
* tie

COACH OF THE YEAR - Jim Gantt, CATAWBA
PLAYER OF THE YEAR - David Thomas, CATAWBA
PITCHER OF THE YEAR - Brett Hontz, Carson-Newman
FRESHMAN OF THE YEAR - Josh McElwee, Newberry
SCHOLAR-ATHLETE - Dustin Morrow, Tusculum

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November 1

Volleyball vs. WINSTON-SALEM ST. 1-3

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November 3

Swimming @ Emory Invite (Day 1)

Volleyball @ Queens 3-1

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Football vs. NEWBERRY 17-13

Volleyball @ Wingate 0-3

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11
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Basketball (W) vs. CHOWAN 75-72

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