#19 Baseball Gets to 40 Wins, Marks #400 For Coach Jim Gantt


SALISBURY, NC -- Catawba College hit five home runs and closed out its regular season with an 11-5 win over visiting Erskine in baseball action on Friday afternoon at Newman Park.  The win was the 400th career victory for Catawba Head Coach Jim Gantt.  The 19th-ranked Catawba Indians improve to 40-16 and will await an at-large bid to the NCAA II South Region Tournament on Sunday.  The Flying Fleet, also ranked 19th, falls to 44-11.

Catawba scored twice in the first inning, but Erskine cut its deficit in half in the second on a lead off home run by Matt Schneider (Greenville, SC).  Catawba came right back as Chris Ahearn (Charlotte, NC/Providence HS) led off the Catawba second with a home run and Craige Lyerly (Salisbury, NC/E. Rowan HS) had a two-run shot in the third for a 5-1 edge.

The Indians would break the game open in the fifth.  The first five batters scored for Catawba, three on a home run by David Thomas (Winston-Salem, NC/Ledford HS), his 20th of the year, and two more on a four-bagger by Jerry Sands (Clayton, NC/Smithfield-Selma HS), his 23rd of the season.  The two RBI push Sands’ total to 80 for the year, surpassing the old school record of 79 set by Jimbo Davis in 2004.

Blake Ketner (Davidson, NC/NW Cabarrus HS) allowed four runs on 11 hits over five innings, but got the win to improve to 8-3.  He was aided by three double plays in the first three innings.  Brett Hatley (Salisbury, NC/W. Rowan HS) finished off the game as he surrendered one run on one hit, a two-out double in the ninth, over four frames to notch his second save.

Chas Anthony (Pickens, SC) had a two-run homer for Erskine in the fifth and John Bolding (Pickens, SC) singled home another run as the Flying Fleet pulled within 10-4.  Ketner got out of the inning as he stranded a pair of runners.  Anthony had three this for Erskine.  Lyerly had three hits for Catawba, while Thomas and Chad Baker (Jamestown, NC/Ragsdale HS) had two hits.

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