May 15, 2008
Thomas' Two-Run, Eighth-Inning Double Lifts Baseball to Opening Win at South Regional
TAMPA, FL -- Senior David Thomas’ (Winston-Salem, NC/Ledford HS) two-out, two-run doubled helped rally 17th-ranked Catawba to a 5-4 win over Florida Tech in an opening round game of the 2008 NCAA II South Region Baseball Tournament. The Catawba Indians improve to 41-16 and will move on to face Tusculum on Friday night at 7 p.m. The Panthers fall to 35-19-1 and will play top-seeded Tampa on Friday afternoon in a must-win game to stay alive.
The Indians entered the bottom of the eight trailing 4-2, but Craige Lyerly (Salisbury, NC/E. Rowan HS) led off with a double. He moved to third on a ground ball and scored on a ground out by Chris Ahearn (Charlotte, NC/Providence HS) to cut the deficit to 4-3.
Bubba Morris (Spence, NC/N. Rowan HS) reached on an error to keep the inning alive and Matt Kepley (Greensboro, NC/Ragsdale HS) singled to get Thomas to the plate. After taking a ball, the senior sent the next pitch into the right-centerfield alley to drive in both runners to give Catawba the 5-4 lead.
Brett Hatley (Salisbury, NC/W. Rowan HS), who had tossed a scoreless eighth, retired the Panthers in order in the ninth to preserve the win. The sophomore improved his record to 5-1.
Catawba led early as Chad Baker (Jamestown, NC/Ragsdale HS) singled home Morris in the third for a 1-0 lead. Florida Tech answered in the fourth on a sacrifice fly by JD Davidson (Naples, FL) to tie the score. Lyerly led off the Catawba fourth with a solo homer, but again the Panthers answered, getting a RBI single by Michael Demma (Coral Springs, FL) in the fifth.
Florida Tech grabbed the lead in the sixth as Brendan Twomey (Boca Raton, FL) singled home the go-ahead run with two outs and a second run would score on an error. The scored stayed 4-2 until the Indians rallied in the eighth.
The Panthers had 16 hits of Tribe pitching, but left 11 runners on base. Fourteen of the hits were singles. Twomey, Ray Valdes (Naples, FL) and Chris Fox (Nassau, BAHAMAS) all picked up three hits for Florida Tech. Catawba collected just nine hits, three by Lyerly and two each by Thomas and Kepley.
|No events scheduled until August 24|