Baseball Stays Alive, Topping Carson-Newman After Early Loss to Tampa


TAMPA, FL -- The Catawba College Indians (43-17) smashed their way to a 14-3 victory over five-seed Carson-Newman (43-18) to stay alive in an elimination game on Friday night at the NCAA II Baseball South Regional.  The win sends the Indians to tomorrow’s championship game against host Tampa.  The Indians will have to defeat the top-seed twice to earn the regional title with the first game starting at 1 p.m.

Eagles pitching couldn’t match up to the Indian offense, which put up five runs in the first inning alone.  Leadoff man David Thomas took a 1-0 pitch over the left field wall to start the game for Catawba who never relinquished the lead. 

Eagle starter Charlie Hill (2-3) lasted just one-third of an inning. Hill issued a one out walk to Jerry Sands before catcher Ryan Query hit a long triple, scoring Sands and ending Hill's short outing.  Catawba also collected homeruns from Chad Baker and Bubba Morris, the first of his career.  Five Indians posted multi-hit games against the Eagles, including Baker (3), Sands (3), Craig Lyerly (3), Brett Hatley (4), and Matt Kepley (2).

The Indians received a much better start from their right-hander. Tim Holmes (5-1) tossed his first complete game for Catawba, allowing three runs on seven hits for the win.  Carson-Newman second baseman Langdon Potts did manage a homerun off Holmes in the third to bring the score to 5-1, but it wasn’t enough for the Eagles.
In Catawba’s first game, top-seeded Tampa overcame a five-run fifth inning by Catawba College to defeat the Indians 12-7 in a battle of unbeatens.  The win secured the Spartans a spot in tomorrow’s championship game.

Tampa scored ten of their twelve runs with two outs, including three in the first inning. After Catawba starter Tim Smith (6-3) issued a pair of walks to Ryan Williams and Jose Jimenez, third baseman Nolan Brannon hit a homerun to right-center to give the Spartans the early lead.

After the Spartans added another run in the third thanks to an RBI double by Jimenez, the Catawba offense got going against Tampa’s Kevin Ferguson in the fifth. Center-fielder David Thomas and right-fielder Jerry Sands contributed RBI singles for the Indians before Ryan Query homered to put Catawba on top 5-4.

With two outs in the sixth, Smith walked Steven Broschofsky, who came around to score from first after designated hitter Brett McKean hit a clutch double to tie the game.  The Spartans showed their power throughout the rest of the game, utilizing the long ball to put it out of reach.

After Jimenez launched one well over the right-centerfield wall, Brannon hit his second of the game.  Jesus Barroso continued to swing a hot bat, adding a homerun of his own.

Right-hander Anthony Perez (4-1) earned the win for the Spartans, tossing three innings in relief of Ferguson. Perez struck out three, allowing two runs on three hits against the Indians.

Query picked up two his and drove in five to lead Catawba.  Lyerly went 4-for-5.

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