Baseball

Shepard And Brooks Lead Baseball to Opening Win at National Finals

CARY, N.C. -- NCAA II second-ranked Catawba opened its 2015 NCAA II National Finals with a 3-2 victory over Wilmington on Saturday night at the USA National Training Complex.  The Catawba Indians improve to 45-13 and will next play Henderson State on Monday night at 7 p.m.  The Wildcats, ranked 18th, fall to 37-14 and will face Angelo State in an elimination game on Monday at 3 p.m.

Shaefer Shepard (Boca Raton, Fla./Boca Raton HS/Francis Marion) earned his 11th win, while Craig Brooks (Monroe, N.C./Parkwood HS) grabbed the save and set a school record for strikeouts in a season to lead the Indians.  Brooks also collected three hits at the plate and drove home a run.

Catawba produced three of its six hits in the opening frame.  Luke Setzer (Salisbury, N.C./E. Rowan HS) pulled a one-out double down the left field line and Will Albertson (Sophia, N.C./Randleman HS/Campbell) followed with a single down the right field line.  A groundout by T.J. Wharton (Lutz, Fla./Bishop McLaughlin HS/Guilford Tech) produced the game’s first run and Brooks doubled with two outs to get Albertson home.

Shepard set the tone on the mound in the first with three groundouts.  He allowed a leadoff home run to Sam Goines in the second before retiring four in a row.  An error and hit batter put two Wildcat runners on in the third.  Shepard got out of the inning and sat down the side in the fourth.

Catawba answered the Wilmington run in its fourth.  Wharton walked and Brooks singled to start the inning.  Chance Bowden (Salisbury, N.C./Salisbury HS) singled with one out to load the bases and Kyle Smith (Greensboro, N.C./Grimsley HS) plated the run on a sacrifice fly.  The Indians would leave the bases loaded as Jamie Treml worked out of a potential big inning for Catawba.

The first two Wilmington batters walked to start the sixth and Ryan McClintock (Matthews, N.C./Providence HS) came on to get an out on a sacrifice and another on a groundout by Christian Adorno to pull the Wildcats within 3-2.  Michael Elwell (Mooresville, N.C./Lake Norman HS) got the final out of the frame on a groundout to first to stand the tying run at third.

Treml kept the Catawba bats quiet after the run in the fourth with three scoreless frames where the only base runner that reached was on a walk.  Two one-out walks by Wilmington in the seventh was the last chance for the Wildcats.  After a sacrifice moved both runners into scoring position, Bryan Blanton (Albemarle, N.C./Albemarle HS) got a fly out to end the threat.

Brooks came on in the eighth and threw two perfect innings of relief to notch his second save of the year.  He struck out three to raise his total to 150 on the year, surpassing the mark he shared entering the game with Brian Boltz.

Shepard improved to 11-3 with his five innings of work.  He allowed just two hits with three walks and three strikeouts.  The sophomore becomes just the fourth Catawba pitcher to reach 11 wins in a season, equaling Robbie Green, who posted 11 wins in 2000.  Tim Smith holds the record with 13 victories in 2006, while Brooks had 12 wins last season.

Brooks led Catawba at the plate against Wilmington with three hits.  Goines and Frank Samluk had the hits for Wilmington.  Treml fell to 8-1, dropping his first game since 2011.

A huge crowd of 2,624 was on hand to see the Catawba win.  One run has decided all all five of Catawba’s games in the National Finals dating back to 2012.

Box Score

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Swimming vs. UNC WILMINGTON, 2:00
Volleyball vs. MARS HILL, 6:00VideoStats

Calendar

«September 2017»
1
September 1

Volleyball vs. MONTEVALLO 3-2

2
September 2

Cross Country in CHICK-FIL-A INVITE W-2nd; M-3rd

Tennis (M) @ Belmont Abbey Individual Tourn. 

Volleyball vs. BELMONT ABBEY 1-3

Volleyball vs. CHOWAN 3-0

Soccer (M) vs. ERSKINE 1-2

3
September 3

Soccer (W) @ Barton 2-0

456
September 6

Soccer (M) vs. MOUNT OLIVE 1-3

Soccer (W) vs. LIMESTONE 1-3

78
September 8

Cross Country @ Lenoir-Rhyne Invite W-3rd,M-3rd

Volleyball @ Winston-Salem St. 0-3

9
September 9

Tennis (W) @ Wingate Individual Tourn. (Day 1) 

Tennis (M) @ Wingate Individual Tourn. (Day 1) 

Football @ VMI 27-20

Soccer (M) @ Belmont Abbey 0-4

10
September 10

Tennis (W) @ Wingate Individual Tourn. (Day 2) 

Tennis (M) @ Wingate Individual Tourn. (Day 2) 

Soccer (W) vs. FLAGLER 0-4

1112131415
September 15

Volleyball @ Mars Hill 3-1

16
September 16

Volleyball vs. TUSCULUM 2-3

Soccer (M) vs. MARS HILL 0-1

Football @ UNC Pembroke 41-9

Soccer (W) vs. MARS HILL 4-0

1718
September 18

Golf (M) @ Queens Inv. - Day 1 (Club at Irish Creek)

19
September 19

Golf (M) @ Queens Inv. - Day 2 (Club at Irish Creek) 11th of 16

Volleyball @ Lenoir-Rhyne 0-3

20
September 20

Soccer (W) @ Newberry 2-1

Soccer (M) @ Newberry 2-4

2122
September 22

Volleyball @ Lincoln Memorial 1-3

23
September 23

Golf (W) @ Battle at Old South - Day 1 (Old South GC)

Cross Country @ Bulldog Stampede W-5th;M-9th

Soccer (W) @ Coker 3-0

Volleyball @ Carson-Newman 0-3

Football vs. MARS HILL 37-13

Soccer (M) @ Coker 2-1

24
September 24

Golf (W) @ Battle at Old South - Day 2 (Old South GC) 15th of 18

25
September 25

Golf (M) @ King Inv - Day 1 (CC of Bristol)

26
September 26

Golf (M) @ King Inv - Day 2 (CC of Bristol) 8th of 10

Tennis (W) @ Pfeiffer 9-0

Volleyball vs. ANDERSON 0-3

27
September 27

Tennis (M) @ Pfeiffer 7-2

Soccer (W) vs. USC AIKEN 5-0

2829
September 29

Cross Country @ Royals Challenge W-13th;M-14th

Tennis (M) @ SE ITA Championships (Day 1)

Tennis (W) @ SE ITA Championships (Day 1)

Volleyball vs. QUEENS 0-3

30
September 30

Tennis (W) @ SE ITA Championships (Day 2) 

Tennis (M) @ SE ITA Championships (Day 2) 

Football @ Carson-Newman 18-31

Volleyball vs. WINGATE 0-3

Soccer (W) vs. GEORGIA COLLEGE 1-3

Soccer (M) vs. LANDER 3-6

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