May 16, 2008
Fairweather's Complete Game Keeps Baseball Unbeaten in South Region Action
TAMPA, FL -- Junior Alex Fairweather (Lenoir, NC/W. Caldwell HS) tossed a complete game win as 17th-ranked Catawba College stayed unbeaten at the 2008 NCAA II South Region Baseball Tournament with a 5-1 victory over 13th-ranked Tusculum on Friday night at the Tampa Baseball Field. The Catawba Indians improve to 42-16 and will now face the other unbeaten club in host and top-seed Tampa on Saturday morning at 11 a.m. The Pioneers fall to 41-14 and now tangle with Carson-Newman in an elimination game at 3 p.m.
The Indians got on the board in the first inning as Criage Lyerly (Salisbury, NC/E. Rowan HS) delivered a two-out single to plate David Thomas (Winston-Salem, NC/Ledford, NC). Thomas had led off with a solid single.
Catawba left the bases loaded in the first, but Thomas increased the lead in the second frame as he deposited the first pitch he saw in his second at bat over the center field wall for a 3-0 edge. Matt Kepley (Greensboro, NC/Ragsdale HS) also scored on the four-bagger as he drew a one-out walk.
That would be enough support for Fairweather, who allowed just six hits and walked one with six strikeouts in going the distance. The lefty lost his shutout in the ninth, but kept the Pioneer batters off balance most of the night and got plenty of defensive support.
Ryan Query (Kannapolis, NC/Brown HS) helped quell a Tusculum threat in the second as he threw out Sean Cotten (Mooresville, NC) at third after a strikeout of Marc Hyndsman (Oceansport, NJ) to end the frame. Catawba also caught a break in the fourth as Matt Webb was called for leaving third early to try and beat a throw home by Jerry Sands on a potential sacrifice fly by Cotten.
Fairweather retired the side in order in the fifth, sixth and seventh innings then got a doubleplay ball in the eighth after a one-out single by Matt Ford (Jonesborough, TN). The Pioneers scored in the ninth as Aaron Hudgins (Kingsport, TN) led off with a single and Christian Rosa (Toa Baja, PUERTO RICO) doubled. Fairweather retired the next three batters, but gave up a run on a groundout by Carlos Rivera (Leesburg, VA).
Sands launched a solo home run in the fifth, his record-tying 24th of the season, for a 4-0 edge and Bubba Morris (Spencer, NC/N. Rowan HS) doubled home a run in the sixth to give Catawba a 5-0 lead. Thomas had another stellar performance with three hits, two runs scored and a pair of RBI.
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