May 17, 2014
Farmakis Dazzels Georgia College, Then Bad Bounce Ends Baseball Season
GREENWOOD, SC -- What appeared to be a routine game-ending ground ball to short took a bad hop over the head of Dylan Richardson (Randleman, NC/Randleman HS/Appalachian State), allowing two runs to score and giving Columbus State a 6-5 win in 10 innings over Catawba in an elimination game at the 2014 NCAA II Southeast Region Baseball Tournament on Saturday night at Dolny Stadium. The loss ends the season for the sixth-seeded Catawba Indians at 35-20.
The Indians were just that one out away from dispatching a third-straight nationally-ranked opponent from the tournament and advancing to Sunday's championship before the quirky bounce denied Catawba. After Shaefer Shepard (Boca Raton, FL/Boca Raton HS/Francis Marion) issued a one-out walk to Blaine Miller and then a single to Carson Bowers, the red-shirt freshman struck out Caleb Williams for the second out in the 10th. Brendan Collins then hit the hopper towards Richardson that caromed over his head.
In the top half of the tenth, Keaton Hawks (Lexington, NC/E. Davidson HS) had scored to give Catawba a 5-4 lead. Hawks led off with a single and was sacrificed to second. He went to third on a wild pitch and scored on a high chopper to the mound by T.J. Wharton (Lutz, FL/Bishop McLaughlin HS/Guilford Tech).
Shepard (7-3) had gotten out of jam in the ninth, getting the final two outs with runners at first and second. Columbus had tied the game in the eighth on a two-run single by Bowers with two outs. The Cougars produced four hits in the inning, two that never got out of the infield and another that dribbled through the right side.
Catawba trailed 2-0 after seven innings as Sean Muller held the Indians to just three hits until the eighth. Craig Brooks (Monroe, NC/Parkwood HS) singled to start the eighth and Jon Wallace (Salisbury, NC/NW Cabarrus HS/Lynchburg) followed with a hit-and-run single to put runners on the corners. Cameron Beard (Conover, NC/Bunker Hill HS) got a run in on a fielder's choice.
Following a Columbus error, Paul Kronenfeld (Greensboro, NC/Woodberry Forest HS/Georgia Tech) tied the game as he laced a double to left-center. Both Blake Houston (Mt. Ulla, NC/S. Rowan HS) and Kronenfeld would score on passed balls to put the Indians up 4-2.
The Cougars had taken the lead in the fourth, capitalizing on a pair of walks with Collins delivering a RBI single with two outs and Bowers scoring home on a double steal. Joe Watson (Advance, NC/Davie Co. HS) went six innings for Catawba and gave up just two hits, but did walk seven with four strikeouts.
Hawks had three hits for Catawba, while Wallace had a pair of singles. Bowers had four hits for Columbus State, who were ranked 10th in NCAA II and seeded third. Collins collected three hits. The Cougars, now 39-16, face Lander on Sunday.
Earlier in the day, Catawba stayed alive behind a six-hit shutout from freshman Matt Farmakis (Sharpsburg, GA/Northgate HS) in a 5-0 win over Georgia College. That eliminated the fifth-seeded and 24th-ranked Bobcats (35-17). Farmakis walked just one and fanned six in moving to 2-0 on the year.
Houston put Catawba on top with a two-run homer in the third, giving Farmakis all the runs he needed. The freshman worked around a pair of early doubles and cruised to the win. After surrendering a leadoff double to Mike McGraw in the third, Farmakis never allowed another Bobcat to reach second base.
Hawks added some excitement in the fifth as he led off with a double. He stole third with one out then with two outs, raced home on a straight steal to just get under the tag to make it 3-0. Ethan Satterfield (Madison, NC/McMichael HS) capped the scoring in the sixth with a two-run single.
Hawks had another three hit performance in the Saturday afternoon win. Houston and Satterfield each had two hits and two RBI. Beard and Julio Zubillaga (China Grove, NC/Carson HS) also had two hits. Clay Ardeeser posted two hits for Georgia College.
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