Baseball drops two of three to CN to finish fifth

SALISBURY, NC – Carson-Newman took two of three seven innings games from host Catawba during Saturday’s baseball triple-header at Newman Park to give the Eagles the 2003 South Atlantic Conference Championship. After falling 8-3 in the opener, Carson-Newman rallied to win the final two games 4-2 and 5-1. The Eagles improve to 28-19 overall and finish 13-7 in the SAC to finish a half a game ahead of Wingate. Catawba, which could have shared the league title with a win in the final game, falls to 28-23 and 12-9 and finishes fifth.Carson-Newman grabbed a 2-0 lead in the second inning of the opener, getting a solo home run from Ricky Luttrell (Knoxville, TN) and a second run on a throwing error. Catawba struck back in the third on a two-run homer by Matt Baker (Charlotte, NC) and took the lead in the fourth on a solo shot by Blair Reynolds (King, NC). The Eagles tied the score in the fifth as Chris Martin (Knoxville, TN) hit a sacrifice fly to score Jonathan Mary (Maryville, TN), who had tripled with one out. The Indians then plated five runs in their fifth to take control. Scott Searles (Boston, MA) doubled home the first run and was driven in on a single by Aaron Rimer (Salisbury, NC). Jeff Boyles (Pinnacle, NC) singled home a pair of runs, while Spence Southard (Greensboro, NC) singled home the final run. Tribe starter Zach Snyder (Lexington, NC) tossed a four-hit complete game. He surrendered only two earned runs and registered seven strikeouts. Catawba pounded out 13 hits, getting two each from Baker, Searles, Boyles and Chad Hill (Bennett, NC). Luttrell’s grand slam in the third inning of the middle game was the only runs the Eagles needed. A pair of walks and an error set the stage for the homer, which came with one out and on the first pitch in his at bat. Ryan West (Urbana, OH) tossed the complete game, scattering seven hits with a walk and seven strikeouts. Brian Hatley (Salisbury, NC) pitched three and two-thirds innings of scoreless relief to keep the Tribe in the game. Catawba would threaten in each of the last four innings, but left seven on base during those frames. After leaving runners at first and third in the fourth, the Indians did scratch for a pair of runs in the fifth after loading the bases with no outs. Mark Smith (Browns Summitt, NC) forced home a run after being hit by a pitch with one out and Baker followed with a sacrifice fly. The Indians again left runners on the corners in the sixth and got the tying run to the plate in the seventh after Smith’s one-out single, but ended the game with a pair of ground outs. Carson-Newman would jump out to an early lead in the third game. The Eagles got a pair if single in the hole to left sandwiched around a bunt single to load the bases, then got an infield single by Luttrell to score the first run. A second run scored on a double play for a 2-0 lead. Catawba scored a run in its first on a single by Hill, but Eagle starter John Wallace (Marietta, GA) allowed only two hits over the final six innings. The Eagles tacked on a run in the second on a triple by Bret Lindsey (Maryville, TN) and scored a pair in the seventh on a double by Nathan Gravley (Cartersville, GA) and a single by Luttrell. Wallace scattered four hits to earn the complete game win. He walked three, hit two and struck out five. Luttrell had three hits in each of the Eagle wins, 7-for-11 with six RBI on the day. #####

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