Baseball

Baseball Blanks Coker Behind Brooks' 14 Strikeouts

15_BB_BrooksCraigBC

HARTSVILLE, S.C. -- Catawba notched its fourth straight three-game sweep in South Atlantic Conference baseball action with a 10-0 victory over host Coker on Sunday afternoon at New Field.  The 17th-ranked  Catawba Indians improve to 27-5 overall and 17-3 in the SAC, while the Cobras fall to 10-20 and 4-14.

Six Catawba pitchers combined to allow just one hit in logging the fifth shutout of the season, mostly on the back of starter Craig Brooks (Monroe, N.C./Parkwood HS).  Brooks threw six frames and faced the minimum number of batters he could.  The senior allowed the hit and fanned 14.

The 14 punch outs by Brooks set a career-high and was just four shy of the school record which was set by Jerry Maye in 1965.  Only six Catawba pitchers have struck out more batters in a game than Brooks.

The Indians provided their staff with all the runs they needed in a six-run third.  Blake Houston (Mt. Ulla, N.C./S. Rowan HS) and Kyle Smith (Greensboro, N.C./Grimsley HS) singled to start the inning.  Will Albertson (Sophia, N.C./Randleman HS/Campbell) plated both with a double and the Indians were on top for good. 

Chance Bowden (Salisbury, N.C./Salisbury HS) singled home a run and Luke Setzer (Salisbury, N.C./E. Rowan HS) drove in two with a triple.  A ground out from Grayland Fowler (Moore, S.C./Duncan HS) scored Setzer for the final run of the frame.

Brooks, now 7-1, was virtually untouchable.  Coming off a 10 strikeout performance in a four-inning stint versus 26th-ranked Winston-Salem State, Brooks started by striking out the side.  The lone blemish against the senior was a two-out single by Alex Rodriguez in the third, who was thrown out trying to stretch the hit to a double.

Brooks also helped himself out at the plate with two hits and a RBI double in the fifth.  Fowler got his second RBI when he singled Brooks in and T.J. Wharton (Lutz, Fla./Bishop McLaughlin HS/Guilford Tech) plated a run on single in the sixth.

Smith and Setzer finished the game with three hits.  Albertson, Setzer and Fowler each drove in two runs.

Dallas Baldwin (3-4) took the loss for Coker.  He went five innings and allowed eight runs with seven strikeouts.

Catawba returns home to Newman Park on Tuesday, hosting Pfeiffer for a 6 pm first pitch.  The game starts a seven-game home stand for the Indians.

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