May 14, 2009
Lyerly Sets Hit Record as Baseball Wins Regional Opener
AIKEN, SC -- Several streaks remained alive as Catawba claimed a 7-5 win over Georgia College & State University in the opening game of the 2009 NCAA II Southeast Region Baseball Tournament. The Catawba Indians, ranked 21st in NCAA II, improve to 36-16 and will play Francis Marion on Friday night at 7 p.m. in their next contest. The Bobcats, ranked 20th, fall to 37-18 and play the winner of tonight’s final game between Belmont Abbey and top-seeded USC Aiken on Friday.
Catawba has now won all four of its opening games in NCAA II regional play and junior Craige Lyerly (Salisbury, NC/E. Rowan HS) extended his hitting streak to 33 games, leading off the game with a single. Lyerly would collect three hits in the contest and broke both the Catawba and South Atlantic Conference record with 104 hits on the season.
Brian Hatley (Salisbury, NC/W. Rowan HS) followed Lyerly’s leadoff single with a double and Ryan Query (Kannapolis, NC/Brown HS) singled to put the Indians up 1-0. Chris Ahearn (Charlotte, NC/Providence HS) added a sacrifice fly for a 2-0 lead after a half inning.
Tim Holmes (Bay Village, OH/Bay HS) pitched into the seventh to improve to 7-2. He exited with an out in the seventh after a two-run single by Steve Muoio had trimmed Catawba’s lead to 6-5. Wil Huneycutt (Locust, NC/W. Stanly HS) got a double play ball to get out of the frame and Nathan Furr (Albemarle, NC/W. Stanly HS) recorded the final four outs to earn his eighth save.
With the early lead, Catawba added single runs in the second, fourth, fifth and sixth innings. Query doubled home a run in the second and Lyerly scored on an error in the fourth as the Indians took a 4-0 edge. The Bobcats got on the board in their fourth as Chandler Snell doubled home a run and scored on an error with two outs.
Catawba answered the runs by GC&SU on a run-scoring double by Kevin McMillan (Salisbury, NC/N. Rowan HS) in the fifth. The Indians threatened to break the game open in the sixth, loading the bases with no outs, but Ryan Tabor got Query to ground into a third-to-home-to-first double play and got McMillan on a ground out. Lyerly did score on a wild pitch after the double play for a 6-3 lead.
With one out in the seventh, Holmes hit a batter and gave up a double to Richard Pirkle before the single by Muoio brought the Bobcats within a run. Cameron White (Columbia, SC/Ridge View HS) added an insurance run in the ninth, doubling home Josh Hohn (Greensboro, NC/S. Guilford HS) from first with one out.
Catawba pounded out 16 hits in the win, with Hatley and Ahearn joining Lyerly with three. Query and Hohn each collected two hits. Query led the way with two RBI. Muoio, Snell and Matt Pitts had two hits for the Bobcats, who had a dozen hits as a team.
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