Baseball

Baseball Stays Unbeaten in SAC Tournament WIth 10-4 Win Over LR

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HICKORY, NC -- Top-seeded Catawba got four hits from senior Chad Baker (Jamestown, NC/Ragsdale HS) and eliminated fourth-seeded Lenoir-Rhyne with a 10-4 victory at the 2008 South Atlantic Conference Baseball Tournament on Friday afternoon at Bears Field on the campus of Lenoir-Rhyne College.  The Catawba Indians improve to 36-14 and advance to play the winner of the Carson-Newman/Tusculum game at noon on Saturday at L.P. Frans Stadium.  The Bears fall to 21-30.

South Atlantic Conference Player of the Year, David Thomas (Winston-Salem, NC/Ledford HS) led off the game with a triple and Baker singled him home to give the Indians an early 1-0 lead.  Catawba scored three times in the second, capped by a run-scoring double by Baker, one of his three two-baggers on the day.

Catawba increased its lead to 7-0 in the fourth before Lenoir-Rhyne staged a rally.  Daniel Ford (Youngstown, OH) broke through with a one-out single against Catawba starter Alex Fairweather (Lenoir, NC/W. Caldwell HS), who had not allowed a hit until that point.  After a pair of two-out walk, Brian Dice (Hickory, NC) cleared the bases with a triple to cut the margin to 7-3.  Ford helped cut the deficit to 7-4 with a RBI groundout in the fifth.

Baker helped Catawba regain the momentum in the sixth as he doubled with one out and scored on a single by Jerry Sands (Clayton, NC/Smithfield-Selma HS).  Two batters later, Craige Lyerly (Salisbury, NC/E. Rowan HS) launched a towering two-run homer to left for a 10-4 Catawba lead.

Fairweather left after a leadoff single by Stephen Andrews (Winston-Salem, NC), but Brett Hatley (Salisbury, NC/W. Rowan HS) finished up by tossing the final three innings to earn the save.  He surrendered just one hit.  Fairweather improved to 7-2 as he scattered four hits and struck out six.  He issued four walks. 

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