April 23, 2008
Baseball Rallies From 6-0 Deficit to Top UNC Pembroke
PEMBROKE, NC -- Junior Chris Ahearn (Charlotte, NC/Providence HS) snapped a 6-all tie with a RBI single in the eighth as 22nd-ranked Catawba rallied for a 9-6 win over host UNC Pembroke at Cox Field on Wednesday night. The Catawba Indians improve to 38-16, while the Braves fall to 31-22.
Catawba clawed its way back from a 6-0 deficit and took the lead in the eighth. Kevin McMillan (Salisbury, NC/N. Rowan HS) started the frame with a double and Ahearn delivered a two-strike single to plate pinch-runner Andrew O’Neal (King, NC/W. Stokes HS) for the go-ahead run. David Thomas (Winston-Salem, NC/Ledford HS) added an insurance run with a two-out double and Brett Hatley (Salisbury, NC/W. Rowan HS) helped his own cause with a RBI single in the ninth.
Hatley (4-1) tossed two scoreless innings, allowing just one hit, to pick up the win. Nathan Furr (Albemarle, NC/W. Stanly HS) pitched a perfect ninth for his third save.
The Braves took the lead in the opening inning on a three-run homer by Stuart Champion. It was the lone hit of the inning as Catawba starter Weston Church (Salisbury, NC/W. Rowan HS) hit a batter with one out and issued a two-out walk before the shot by Champion.
UNCP benefited from an error to plate a pair of runs in the second and grew its lead to 6-0 in the fourth on an Adam Hamrick sacrifice fly. Alex Fairweather (Lenoir, NC/W. Caldwell HS) would toss five innings and allowed just a single run on three hits to keep the Indians close. Catawba got a run back in the fifth, but stranded three runners as Thomas popped up to third and Chad Baker (Jamestown, NC/Ragsdale HS) grounded out to end the inning.
Jerry Sands (Clayton, NC/Smithfield-Selma HS) got things started for Catawba in the sixth as he led off with his 22nd home run of the year. It was the start of four straight hits for the Tribe, who closed within 6-3 on a single by McMillan.
After Ahearn reached on an error that brought one run in, Bubba Morris (Spencer, NC/N. Rowan HS) sacrificed to put two runners in scoring position for Matt Kepley (Greensboro, NC/Ragsdale HS). The senior who had singled in the Indians’ first run delivered a two-run single to tie the score at 6-all.
McMillan and Lyerly each had three hits for Catawba, while Kepley had three RBI. Jon Rivera took the loss for UNCP, allowing six runs in two innings of relief. Champion drove in three of the six Pembroke runs and had two of its six hits.
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