Baseball

Baseball Sweeps Defending National Champions

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SALISBURY, NC -- Catawba came from behind to win both games of a doubleheader with visiting Mount Olive, the defending Division II National Champions, in baseball action on Tuesday at Newman Park.  The Catawba Indians claimed the opener 13-5 and scored an 8-7 victory in the nightcap.  With the sweep, the Indians improve to 16-9 overall, while the Trojans fall to 19-14.

Catawba used a nine-run third to overcome an early 5-0 deficit in the opener.  The Indians staged a two-out rally in the final inning of game two to pull out the sweep.  Craige Lyerly (Salisbury, NC/E. Rowan HS) had two hits in each game for the Tribe, while Chris Ahearn (Charlotte, NC/Providence HS) had three hits in the opener.

Dylan Holton (Nova Scotia, CANADA) doubled to start game one for Mount Olive and scored on a groundout by Airlon Vinson (Goldsboro, NC) as the Trojans grabbed a quick 1-0 edge.  In the second, Mount Olive benefitted from a Catawba error to add four runs.  The final three came on a home run by Holton.

Catawba sent 14 men to the plate in the third inning and was aided by four Mount Olive errors in grabbing the lead.  Ahearn singled to start the frame with Josh Hohn (Greensboro, NC/S. Guilford HS) and Lyerlry following with doubles to trim the deficit to 5-2.  Brett Hatley (Salisbury, NC/W. Rowan HS) doubled home two runs, Jake Faggart (Concord, NW Cabarrus HS) plated the tying run with a fielder’s choice and Corey Parker (Kernersville, NC/Glenn HS) gave Catawba the lead with a single.

Hohn helped add some insurance with a two-run double in the fourth to back Trevor Mullins (Jamestown, NC/Ragsdale HS), who allowed only one earned run over his five innings.  Wil Huneycutt (Locust, NC/W. Stanly HS) allowed just one hit in two scoreless innings of relief.

Ahearn brought home the winning run in the seventh of game two when his hard grounder to short was misplayed.  Faggart kept the inning alive, beating out an infield single on a bang-bang play at first with two outs.  A grounder to third by Parker was thrown away at first and Zeb Link (Woodleaf, NC/W. Rowan HS) delivered the tying run with a single through the right side.

The rally capped a see-saw affair over the final four frames.  Two-out hits by Rich Racobaldo (Marlton, NJ) and Alex Vertcnik (Waukesha, WI) gave the Trojans a 2-0 lead after an inning.  Ryan Query (Kannapolis, NC/Brown HS) tied the game on a two-run homer in the third.

Mount Olive went back on top in the fourth, scoring a run on a double play ground out, but Catawba answered with three in its third coming on a two-out single by Ahearn and a two-run triple by Lyerly.  Vinson knotted the score at 5-5 with a two-run home run in the fifth with Kevin McMillan (Salisbury, NC/N. Rowan HS) putting the Indians back on top with a solo homer in their fifth.  The Trojans grabbed their 7-6 lead in the sixth on RBI singles by Joseph Westbrook (Edenton, NC) and Jesse Lancaster (Goldsboro, NC).  

Lancaster had three of 16 Trojan hits in the nightcap.  Holton and Kevin Kearney (Fife, WA) had two hits in each game for Mount Olive. 

Game 1 Box

Game 2 Box

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