Baseball

Baseball Fights Through Another Elimination Game at SE Regional

17_BB_CobleNickPitchLMU

MOUNT OLIVE, N.C. -- Catawba won its second straight elimination game, topping Lincoln Memorial 8-2, to stay alive at the NCAA II Southeast Region Baseball Tournament on Sunday afternoon.  The 30th-ranked Catawba Indians improve to 39-16 and will face another elimination game later on Sunday against host Mount Olive at Scarborough Field.  The Railsplitters end their season at 35-19.

Lincoln Memorial took the early lead.  Catawba starter Nick Coble (Concord, N.C./Mt. Pleasant/Florence-Darlington) struck out the first two batters he faced, but the found control problems as after four walks, a pair of passed and a wild pitch had the Railsplitters up 2-0 after one inning.

Coble survived a pair of one-out singled in the second then Catawba gave Coble the lead in the fourth.  The junior settled down and pitched into the seventh to grab the win and improve to 3-1.  The Indians did not allow the high-powered LMU offense on the scoreboard after the first inning and held the Railsplitters to just four hits.

In the Indian fourth, back-to-back one out singles by Jackson Raper (Concord, N.C./Robinson) and Jeremy Simpson (Cleveland, N.C./W. Rowan) put Catawba on top 3-2.  Malachi Hanes (Charlotte, N.C./Butler) pushed the lead to 6-2 on his three-run homer in the fifth.

Luke Setzer (Salisbury, N.C./E. Rowan) pushed his hitting streak to 23 games, tripling home a run in the sixth.  He scored on a sacrifice fly by Kyle Smith (Greensboro, N.C./Grimsley). 

Coble and Michael Elwell (Mooresville, N.C./Lake Norman) did the rest on the mound for Catawba.  Coble tossed six and a third innings, allowing the two runs on just three hits.  He walked five and fanned eight.  Elwell hurled the final two and two-thirds innings, giving up just a hit with a strikeout.

Hanes drove in four in the win for Catawba.  Simpson, Chance Bowden (Salisbury, N.C./Salisbury) and Hunter Shepherd (Salisbury, N.C./Homeschool) had two hits in a 12-hit Indian attack.  Logan Augustine had two of the four hits for LMU.

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