April 15, 2017
Baseball Stays in Tie For First After Sweep of Tusculum
GREENEVILLE, Tenn. -- Catawba rode momentum from Friday's dramatic win in the series opener to a doubleheader sweep of host Tusculum on Saturday in South Atlantic Conference baseball action at Pioneer Park. The 27th-ranked Catawba Indians won 7-3 and 5-3 to improve to 30-12 overall and 16-5 in the SAC. The Pioneers fall to 24-15 and 13-8.
The Indians got strong starts from freshman Hunter Shepherd (Salisbury, N.C./Homeschool) and Bryan Ketchie (Woodleaf, N.C./W. Rowan) to complete the three-game sweep. Shepherd moved to 6-0, allowing three runs (one earned) over six innings with a pair of strikeouts. Ketchie upped his record to 6-1, giving up a pair of runs with three strikeouts in five innings.
After scoring an unearned run in the third inning of the opener to go on top, Ben Bomberger (Manheim, Pa./Manheim Central/Coastal Carolina) doubled home two in the fourth to stretch the lead to 3-0. Singles by Nick Coble (Concord, N.C./Mt. Pleasant/Florence-Darlington) and Bomberger drove in fifth-inning runs for a 5-0 lead.
Tusculum cut into the lead in its fifth, plating three runs. Bradley Evans doubled home two runs and Nick Lacina got a run in on a ground out. Catawba came right back as Luke Setzer (Salisbury, N.C./E. Rowan) double to start the sixth and scored on a Jeremy Simpson (Cleveland, N.C./W. Rowan) single. Setzer then doubled home a run in the seventh.
Catawba out-hit Tusculum 14-8 with Setzer going 3-for-6. Bomberger had two hits and three RBI. Coble picked up a pair of hits and closed the game out by retiring five straight batters.
Tusculum got a run in the first inning of game two, but Ketchie stranded a pair and Catawba quickly took the lead in the second. Cameron Morrison (Robbins, N.C./N. Moore) delivered a two-out, two-run single to put the Indians on top. Chance Bowden (Salisbury, N.C./Salisbury) had a sacrifice fly in the third and doubled home a run in the fifth as Catawba moved out to a 4-1 lead.
Ketchie exited after giving up a leadoff single in the sixth and the Pioneers went on to load the bases with one out. Daulton Martin walked to force in a run before Bryan Blanton (Asheboro, N.C./Asheboro) came on to get a ground out and a strikeout to limit the damage and keep the Indians up 4-3.
Bowden came through again in the seventh, driving in a run with a two-out single for an insurance run. Tusculum singled to start the seventh, but Blanton got two ground balls and a pop up to close out the game for his 12th save.
Bowden went 3-for-3 with three RBI in game two. Morrison and Kyle Smith (Greensboro, N.C./Grimsley) had two hits. Evans had two hits for Tusculum.
Catawba hosts Winston-Salem State at Newman Park on Tuesday at 6 pm.
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