Baseball

Baseball Comes Up A Run Short in Loss to Tusculum

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SALISBURY, NC -- Taylor Rakes picked off pinch-runner Gary Williams (Southport, NC/S. Brunswick HS) at second to end the game as Tusculum claimed a 3-2 win over 19th-ranked Catawba in South Atlantic Conference baseball action on Friday night at Newman Park.  The Pioneers improve to 21-11 overall and 12-7 in the SAC, while the Catawba Indians drop their third straight and fall to 25-11 and 13-6.

Down 3-2 in the ninth, pinch-hitter Craig Brooks (Monroe, NC/Parkwood HS) singled with one out.  He moved to second on a groundout by Cameron Beard (Conover, NC/Bunker Hill HS).  Rakes then got the final out to preserve his complete game as he improved to 4-2.  Rakes allowed a pair of unearned runs off seven hits and fanned nine.

Tusculum jumped on top in the third with their first hit of the game.  After a pair of two-out walks loaded the bases, Heath Comerford singled home two runs on a base hit to right.  Catawba loaded the bases with one out in the fourth, but could only get one run in which came on a wild pitch.

The Pioneers picked up another run in the sixth.  Joe Polichetti doubled off the top of the wall in center then came home on Vinny Ferrara's flair to right.  Catawba again trimmed its deficit to a single run in the seventh.  Blake Houston (Mt. Ulla, NC/S. Rowan HS) reached on an error to start the frame and came home on a groundout by Keaton Hawks (Lexington, NC/E. Davidson HS).

Nick Lomascolo (Mooresville, NC/Lake Norman HS) fell to 7-2 with the loss.  He went eight innings and allowed the three runs on four hits.  He walked five and struck out nine.  Zach Smith (Salisbury, NC/E. Rowan HS/Pitt CC) collected three of the seven Catawba hits and also reach on a walk.

The team will complete the weekend series with a doubleheader on Saturday beginning at 1 p.m.

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