Shepard Pitches Baseball Past Georgia College


THOMASVILLE, N.C. -- Host Catawba advanced to Saturday’s winner’s bracket final with a 9-2 win over Georgia College on Friday afternoon at Finch Field in the 2015 NCAA II Southeast Region Baseball Tournament.  The Catawba Indians, ranked 12th in NCAA II and the top-seed, improve to 42-13 and will face the winner of Mount Olive and North Georgia at 11 am on Saturday.  The Bobcats end their season at 33-19.

The Catawba Indians got eight innings from Shaefer Shepard, who improved to 10-3 on the season.  He scattered six hits with four walks and only one of the two runs he allowed was earned.  The sophomore fanned eight.

After Catawba had stranded two runners in the first, Jake Sandlin led off with a triple for the Bobcats.  Shepard would bear down to get out of the inning with the game still scoreless.  A walk and steal by Catawba’s Blake Houston in the third put Catawba on top when he scored on a double by Will Albertson.  A two-out single from Luke Setzer in the fourth gave the Indians a 2-0 lead.

Georgia College loaded the bases in the bottom half of the fourth as Clay Ardeeser walked, while Dylan Cook and Steve Hazel followed with singles.  Shepard again would limit the damage, allowing just one run on a RBI groundout by Colton Montgomery.  Setzer turned in a defensive gem on the final out, making a diving catch in right center to save two runs.

Catawba took control with four runs in the fifth.  TJ Wharton singled and went to second on a wild pitch before scoring on a single by Dylan Richardson.  Richardson scored on a sacrifice fly.  Chance Bowden doubled home a run and scored the final run on a wild pitch. 

The last real chance for Georgia College to get back in the game came in the fifth.  The Bobcats would collect three one out singles, but only got a single run, which came on an overthrow at first on an infield hit to third by Ardeeser. 

The Indians picked up two runs in the seventh on RBI singles from Austin Stilley and Bowden.  Setzer drove in the final run on a base hit in the ninth.

Albertson collected three of Catawba’s 13 hits on the afternoon.  Wharton, Stilley, Bowden and Setzer all had two hits.  Bowden and Setzer both drove in two runs.

Sandlin enjoyed a 3-for-4 day for the Bobcats and scored a run.  Brandon Benson had a pair of hits.  Jake Anthony (4-4) took the loss for Georgia College.  He went four and two-thirds innings and surrendered six runs on eight hits with four strikeouts.

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