Baseball Set To Open Season on Feb. 4; Have Seven Named to SAC Pre-Season Squad


ROCK HILL, SC -- Catawba College was picked second behind 22nd-ranked Tusculum in the race for the 2009 South Atlantic Conference baseball championship in a poll of the league’s head coaches.  The Pioneers received six first-place votes and 76 total points in the poll, while Catawba got three first place votes and 70 points.  The preseason All-Conference team was also announced, with the Catawba Indians placing the most on the team with seven selections.

Four of the Indians see time on the mound, including a pair of starters in seniors Blake Ketner (Davidson, NC/NW Cabarrus HS) and Alex Fairweather (Lenoir, NC/W. Caldwell HS).  Ketner, a first team pick, finished with an 8-3 record and a 3.34 ERA last year.  Fairweather, who was named to the second team, was 8-2 with a 3.65 ERA and has 23 career wins.

Senior relief pitcher Tim Holmes (Bay Village, OH/Bay HS) was also named to the first team after he went 5-1 last season, posting a 3.83 ERA.  Junior Brett Hatley (Salisbury, NC/W. Rowan HS) was named as the first team designated hitter as he posted a .368 average.  He also saw action on the mound with a 5-1 record and a pair of saves.  He had a team-low 2.08 ERA.

Other Catawba picks on the pre-season team were senior shortstop Chris Ahearn (Charlotte, NC/Providence HS) and junior third baseman Craig Lyerly (Salisbury, NC/E. Rowan HS) on the first team and catcher Ryan Query (Kannapolis, NC/Brown HS), who was a second team pick.

Ahearn finished the 2008 season with a .293 average and collected 25 RBI and stole nine bases.  Lyerly batted .390 last season with 13 home runs and 70 RBI.  He stole a team-high 27 bases.  Query hit .359 and had 49 RBI.  Teams attempted only 36 stolen bases with Query behind the plate.

Catawba opens the 2009 season on Feb. 4 at 2 p.m. against Barton.  The Indians will play in the pre-season SAC Tournament at Fieldcrest Cannon Stadium the following weekend, including a match-up with #22 Tusculum on Feb. 8 at 2 p.m. 


Poll  Total (1st)
1. Tusculum 76 (6)
2. Catawba 70 (3)
3. Carson-Newman 63
4. Wingate 49
5. Lenoir-Rhyne 46
6. Newberry 34
7. Lincoln Memorial 30
9. Mars Hill 27
9. Brevard 10

Catcher – Mike Dobre, Mars Hill
Pitcher – Raymond Ruggles, Tusculum
Pitcher– Blake Ketner, Catawba
Pitcher – Boo Morrow, Tusculum
Relief Pitcher – Tim Holmes, Catawba
First Base – Derek Long, Carson-Newman
Second Base – Brian Williams, Mars Hill
Shortstop – Chris Ahearn, Catawba
Third Base – Craige Lyerly, Catawba
Outfielder – Nick Siega-Riz, Wingate
Outfielder – Tyler Wynn, Carson-Newman
Outfielder – Ricky Feliz, Tusculum
Designated Hitter – Brett Hatley, Catawba
Catcher – Ryan Query, Catawba
Pitcher – Alex Fairweather, Catawba
Pitcher – C.J. Hillyer, Tusculum
Pitcher – Wes McIntyre, Carson-Newman
Relief Pitcher – Corbin Ariail, Carson-Newman
First Base – Zach Glass, Lenoir-Rhyne
Second Base – Hank Wofford, Lenoir-Rhyne
Shortstop – Mills Rogers, Carson-Newman
Third Base – Corry DiBiase, Mars Hill
Outfielder – Phillip Bartz, Newberry
Outfielder – Brandon Savoca, Mars Hill
Outfielder – Evan Taylor, Lenoir-Rhyne
Designated Hitter – Kevin Childs, Wingate

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