April 19, 2017
Baseball Knocks Off North Greenville in Key Regional Tilt
GREENVILLE, S.C. -- Catawba won a matchup of NCAA II top 30 teams on Wednesday night, beating North Greenville 8-4 in baseball action at Fluor Field. The Catawba Indians, ranked 23rd, improve to 32-12. The 28th-ranked Crusaders fall to 34-13.
Down 3-0, Catawba got off the deck in the sixth to get on the scoreboard on Zach Almond’s (Richfield, N.C./N. Stanly/UNCG) two-run homer. The Indians took the lead with a six-run seventh.
Malachi Hanes (Charlotte, N.C./Butler) walked to start the seventh and went to second off an error on a failed pickoff attempt. Catawba tied the game when Bryce Fowler (Greenwood, S.C./Greenwood/Presbyterian) beat out an infield grounder to short. The throw was wild and allowed both runners to move up. As the Crusaders tried to get Fowler at second, that throw went into centerfield and Hanes trotted home to tie the game.
That chased starter Blake Hamilton and Catawba heated up against the pen. Jackson Raper (Concord, N.C./Robinson) bunted for a single and Cameron Morrison’s (Robbins, N.C./N. Moore) singled down the left field line put the Indians on top 4-3. Luke Setzer (Salisbury, N.C./E. Rowan) quickly increased the lead with a three-run homer and Chance Bowden (Salisbury, N.C./Salisbury) capped the frame with a RBI double.
The Catawba pen had another solid night, allowing just one unearned run over five innings. Five relievers surrendered one hit, walked two and fanned seven. Ryan Kahny (High Point, N.C./Central) got the win and moved to 3-3. He tossed two innings of hitless relief with four strikeouts. He did surrender the unearned run. Nick Coble (Concord, N.C./Mt. Pleasant/Florence-Darlington) retired the final three batters for his first save.
Almond enjoyed a 4-for-5 night at the plate. Jeremy Simpson (Cleveland, N.C./W. Rowan) had two hits and singled in front of Almond’s one-out home run in the sixth. Andrew Frazier had two of the four North Greenville hits.
North Greenville took the early lead with three unearned runs in the third off Catawba starter Michael Elwell (Mooresville, N.C./Lake Norman). Eric Gilbert reached on an error to start the inning. He moved to second on a walk before stealing third and scoring on a sacrifice fly. Another walk and a hit batter loaded the bases and Frazier plated two with a single.
Catawba will conclude conference play this weekend, hosting Brevard for a three-game series that opens Friday night at 6 pm.
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