May 8, 2008
Thomas Homers Twice, Smith Sets Win Mark as Baseball Wins Battle of Top 20 Teams
SALISBURY, NC – Senior David Thomas (Winston-Salem, NC/Ledford HS) hit a pair of home runs and Tim Smith (Walnut Cove, NC/S. Stokes HS) became Catawba’s all-time winningest pitcher as the Indians topped Erskine 10-4 in baseball action on Thursday afternoon at Newman Park. Both teams were tied in the Collegiate Baseball poll at the No. 19 spot. The Catawba Indians improved to 39-16, while the Flying Fleet fell to 44-10.
Thomas gave Catawba the early lead as the led off the bottom of the first with a towering home run into the football stadium behind right field. The Indians added two more runs in the frame on singles by Jerry Sands (Clayton, NC/Smithfield-Selma HS) and Matt Kepley (Greensboro, NC/Ragsdale HS).
Catawba tacked on four more runs in the second, including a two-run homer by Thomas that put the Tribe up 6-0. Ryan Query (Kannapolis, NC/Brown HS) picked up the first of his four hits on the day as he doubled home Chad Baker (Jamestown, NC/Ragsdale HS).
That would be more than enough support for Smith, who sailed through his five and a third innings. The senior allowed just an infield single on a bang-bang play at first, while walking four and striking out five. The win marked the 31st in his career to eclipse the record he shared with Matt Fairweather.
Thomas was playing in his record 220th game in a Catawba uniform and saw action at designated hitter as he nursed a quad injury. He had three RBI, scored three runs and had the two homers. Baker and Craige Lyerly (Salisbury, NC/E. Rowan HS) joined Thomas and Query with multi-hit games for the Tribe as each collected two hits. Baker had two doubles and Lyerly had a pair of RBI.
Erskine had been limited to just two singles through seven innings, but rallied a bit in the eighth down 10-0. Keith Hill (Abbeville, SC) and Brandon Garrett (Woodruff, SC) started the inning with singles and Chas Anthony (Pickens, SC) followed with a three-run homer. Matt Schneider (Greenville, SC) also homered in the inning to cut the lead to 10-4. The Flying Fleet had two more runners on in the ninth before Nathan Furr (Albemarle, NC/W. Stanly HS) retired the final two batters.
Hill led Erskine with two hits. Bryan Fogle (Lexington, SC) picked up the first hit for the Flying Fleet in the fourth on the infield single to lead off the inning. Mike Moore (Lexington, SC) fell to 10-2 as he allowed seven runs on nine hits in just an inning and two-thirds of work.
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