Baseball Wins Opener Against Stillman


KANNAPOLIS, NC -- Freshman Corey Parker (Kernersville, NC/Glenn HS) had three hits and senior Chris Ahearn (Charlotte, NC/Providence HS) had a pair of RBI triples, including the game-winning hit with two outs in the sixth, to help Catawba rally past Stillman for a 5-4 win in baseball action on Friday night at Fieldcrest Cannon Stadium.  It marked the opener for both teams.

 Down 4-3 entering the sixth, Jacob Faggart (Concord, NC/NW Cabarrus HS) drew a leadoff walk and was wild pitched to third where he scored on a one-out single by Parker to tie the score.  After a deep fly out by Craige Lyerly (Salisbury, NC/E. Rowan HS), Ahearn tripled into right center to plate Parker with the eventual winning run.

 Catawba starter Blake Ketner (Davidson, NC/NW Cabarrus HS) struck out the side to open the game and closer Nathan Furr (Albemarle, NC/W. Stanly HS) fanned three in the ninth to earn the save.  After Ketner retired the side to start the game, the Indians wasted little time in grabbing the early lead. 

Lyerly and Ahearn opened the Catawba half of the first inning with back-to-back triples and Ryan Query (Kannapolis, NC/Brown HS) plated Ahearn with a groundout for a 2-0 edge.  Catawba picked up a third run after a pair of one-out singles and a two-out error. 

Stillman used two Indian errors in the second to tie the game on just one hit.  Josh McGinnis drove home two with a double and Hampton Gibbs picked up a sacrifice fly.  The Tigers would grab the lead in the fifth.  Dustin Green led off with a double, was sacrificed to third and scored on a single up the middle by Mike Jackson. 

Stillman starter Josh Cagle settled down after allowing four hits to the first five Catawba batters as the lefty allowed just one hit over the next three frames, a two-out single by Parker in the fourth.  Catawba got a two-out double by Josh Hohn (Greensboro, NC/S. Guilford HS) and a walk by Brett Hatley (Salisbury, NC/W. Rowan HS) in the fifth, but Alan Lawrence came in after a wild pitch and got Kevin McMillan (Salisbury, NC/N. Rowan HS) to pop out to end the frame.

Ketner grabbed the win, tossing six innings of four-hit ball with no walks and four strikeouts.  Only two of the runs he allowed were earned.  Parker led Catawba at the plate with three hits, with Ahearn and Hohn each picking up two hits.  Green had a pair of hits for Stillman.

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