Baseball

Link's Ninth-Inning Homer Lifts Baseball Over USC Aiken 5-4; Lyerly's Streak Reaches 85 Games

09_BB_LinkZeb

AIKEN, SC -- Senior Zeb Link (Woodleaf, NC/W. Rowan HS) hit a tie-breaking home run to lead off the ninth to lift 26th-ranked Catawba to a 5-4 win over 25th-ranked USC Aiken in baseball action on Friday night at Hernandez Stadium.  The Catawba Indians improve to 39-11, while the host Pacers fall to 31-17.

Freshman Garrett Furr (Gold Hill, NC/Mt. Pleasant HS) drove in a pair runs and tied the game with an eighth-inning double.  Wade Moore (Salisbury, NC/W. Rowan HS/NC State) homered and scored twice, while Craige Lyerly (Salisbury, NC/E. Rowan HS) extended his consecutive streak of reaching base to 85 games.  While no official records are kept, the streak did surpass the listed major league mark of 84 games set by Ted Williams in 1949.

Furr put the Indians on top in the fourth with a two-out single, plating Moore, who had walked to open the frame.  Catawba added to its lead in the sixth.  Moore led off with a home run and Ryan Bostian (Kannapolis, NC/S. Rowan HS/Montreat) followed with a double.  Lyerly extended his streak on a RBI single for a 3-0 edge.

The Pacers got two runs back in their sixth.  USCA had been shutout by Tribe starter Trevor Mullins (Jamestown, NC/Ragsdale HS/Appalachian St.) for five innings, but Josh Attaway was hit by a pitch to get things started in the sixth.  The Pacers strung together three one-out singles, getting their first run on a RBI from Nick Aranas.  JJ Loker got the second run home on a bases-loaded groundout.

Aiken struck for two runs after two were out in the seventh to go on top 4-3.  Stephen Carmon doubled and Josh Miller walked before Aranas delivered a RBI single to tie the game.  After an infield single, the go-ahead run scored on a balk.

Catawba tied the game in the eighth as Lyerly reached on a bunt single with one out and scored on Furr’s double down the left field line.  Link led off the ninth with his homer to put the Indians back on top and Wil Huneycutt (Locust, NC/W. Stanly HS) kept Aiken off the board to post the win.

Huneycutt allowed no runs on three hits with a pair of strikeouts in two and a third innings of work.  Miller led USCA with four hits, while Aranas had two hits and drove in two.  Travis Howard also had a pair of hits for the Pacers.

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