Baseball

Baseball Eliminated from SAC Tournament

KODAK, Tenn. -- Catawba was eliminated from the 2017 Pilot/Flying J South Atlantic Conference Baseball Tournament with a 13-8 loss to seventh-seeded Carson-Newman on Sunday night at Smokies Stadium.  The Eagles move on to Monday’s Championship Day where they need to beat Lincoln Memorial twice to win the title.  The 20th-ranked and top-seeded Catawba Indians fall to 37-14.

Catawba overcame an early 4-0 deficit after an inning, but could never take the lead.  Jimmy Rice’s RBI double in the top of the fourth gave Carson-Newman a 6-5 lead and the Eagles added two more in the fifth. 

The Indians got within 9-6 in the sixth on a RBI double by Bryce Fowler (Greenwood, S.C./Greenwood/Presbyterian), but Catawba stranded two and the Eagles added three runs in the seventh and one in the eighth to pull away.

Greg Jones and Cade Snapp both homered and had three RBI for Carson-Newman.  Jones joined Eric Lynch with three hits as the Eagles pounded out 17 hits in the win.  Seven of the nine Eagles had two or more hits.

Chance Bowden (Salisbury, N.C./Salisbury) and Jacob Nester (Kernersville, N.C./E. Forsyth/Chowan) had three-hit games for Catawba.  Seven different players drove in runs with Malachi Hanes (Charlotte, N.C./Butler) leading the way with two.  Catawba had a dozen hits and drew 10 walks, but left 15 on base.

Hunter Dodson (3-0) got the win in relief, retiring the final batter of the third inning as the only man he faced.  Ryan Eberle picked up his first save as he tossed the final three and a third innings.  He allowed two runs, both in the ninth, off four hits.

Bryan Ketchie (Woodleaf, N.C./W. Rowan) fell to 6-2 with the loss.  He allowed six runs on seven hits over three and two-thirds innings. 

Catawba will travel to USC Aiken on Saturday for a 4 pm contest.  The Indians, who ranked fourth in the initial NCAA Southeast Regional poll, are in the running for a potential at-large bid to the postseason.

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