Baseball Heads to Regional Final After Eliminating #1 Mount Olive


MOUNT OLIVE, N.C. -- Catawba moved into Monday’s final with a 6-5 elimination game win over top-ranked Mount Olive at the 2017 NCAA II Southeast Region Baseball Tournament on Sunday afternoon at Scarborough Field.  The 30th-ranked Catawba Indians improve to 40-16 with their third straight elimination victory and will face second-seeded North Georgia in the final at 11 am.  The Nighthawks are undefeated at the regional and will have to be beaten twice.  The Trojans end their season at 48-10.

Bryan Ketchie (Woodleaf, N.C./W. Rowan) gave Catawba another solid start as the freshman pitched into the seventh and left with a 6-2 lead after issuing a two-out walk.  Mount Olive scored twice in the seventh before Cody Fitch (Shelby, N.C./Shelby/UNCG) locked down the final out of the frame with a fly out to left with runners on the corners.

Brian Blanton (Albemarle, N.C./Albemarle) logged a six-out save, his 14th of the season.  The junior allowed a run in the eighth then worked a perfect ninth.  He issued a leadoff walk and a two-out RBI single in the eight, but did strike out the side.  He fanned four in his outing.

Catawba produced its scoring over the first three innings, getting to Trojan starter Germain Reyes for five runs in the first two innings.  Reyes (1-1) allowed the five runs on three hits with four walks and three strikeouts.

The Indians scored twice in the first as both Jeremy Simpson (Cleveland, N.C./W. Rowan) and Chance Bowden (Salisbury, N.C./Salisbury) scored on a wild pitch.  Simpson had doubled with one out and Bowden was hit by a pitch with two outs before moving to second on a walk to Kyle Smith (Greensboro, N.C./Grimsley).

Catawba came back with three runs in the second.  After a pair of one-out walks, Luke Setzer (Salisbury, N.C./E. Rowan) singled in a run which upped his hitting streak to 24 games.  Simpson laid down a squeeze bunt for a 4-0 lead and Smith drove in the final run of the inning on a bases-loaded walk.  Jacob Nester (Kernersville, N.C./E. Forsyth/Chowan) knocked in the final run of the game for the Indians on a double in the third.

Ketchie, now 7-2, allowed just one baserunner over the first three innings then had to work out of bases loaded jam in the fourth.  The freshman lefty got a line out to second and a fly out to center to escape without allowing a run. 

An error to start the fifth would lead to the first Mount Olive runs as Jose Lopez delivered a two-out, two-run single.  Ketchie stranded two with a ground out to short and another runner in the sixth after a one-out double before finally giving way to the pen.  Ketchie would allow three runs (one earned) over six and two-thirds innings.  He gave up six hits with three walks and three strikeouts.

Simpson had two hits for Catawba.  Bryce Fowler (Greenwood, S.C./Greenwood/Presbyterian) took a home run away from Ricky Surum in the seventh, reach over the fence to make the final out for Ketchie before he surrendered the two-out walk.

Lopez went 4-for-5 in a losing effort for Mount Olive.  Surum had two hits.

Box Score

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«February 2018»
February 1

Baseball @ Nova Southeastern 5-8

February 2

Baseball @ Palm Beach Atlantic 0-11

February 3

Golf (W) @ Barton Invite at Kiawah - Day 1 (Cougar Point GC)

Track/Field @ Maillet UNC Open

Softball vs. AUGUSTA 0-6

Baseball @ Lynn 11-12

Basketball (W) @ Anderson 69-75

Softball vs. AUGUSTA 4-3

Basketball (M) @ Anderson 77-65

February 4

Golf (W) @ Barton Invite at Kiawah - Day 2 (Cougar Point GC) 12th of 16

Baseball @ Nova Southeastern 6-25

Softball @ Mount Olive, ppd.  1 p.m.

Softball @ Mount Olive, ppd.  3 p.m.

February 6

Baseball @ Belmont Abbey 5-6

February 7

Basketball (W) vs. LENOIR-RHYNE 56-61

Basketball (M) vs.LENOIR-RHYNE 84-77

February 9

Softball @ UNC Pembroke 6-4

Softball @ UNC Pembroke 0-8

Baseball vs,. PALM BEACH ATLANTIC 7-9

Lacrosse (M) @ Belmont Abbey 10-18

Baseball vs. PALM BEACH ATLANTIC 3-12

February 10

Baseball vs. PALM BEACH ATLANTIC 6-5

Lacrosse (W) vs. FLORIDA SOUTHERN 6-24

Basketball (M) @ Bluefield St. 76-55

February 12

Golf (M) @ Spring Invite Intercollegiate - Day 1 (Fleming Isl. GC)

February 13

Golf (M) @ Spring Invite Intercollegiate - Day 2 (Fleming Isl. GC) 14th of 17

February 14

Swimming @ Bluegrass Mountain Championships (Day 1)

Baseball vs. BELMONT ABBEY 5-7

Basketball (W) @ Coker 63-60

Basketball (M) @ Coker 79-77

February 15

Swimming @ Bluegrass Mountain Championships (Day 2)

Softball @ Belmont Abbey 3-4

Softball @ Belmont Abbey 3-2

Lacrosse (W) vs. CONVERSE 16-6

February 16

Swimming @ Bluegrass Mountain Championships (Day 3)

Baseball vs. SHIPPENSBURG 11-2

February 17

Swimming @ Bluegrass Mountain Championships (Day 4) W-5th;M-7th

Softball vs SHIPPENSBURG 3-4

Baseball vs. SHIPPENSBURG 11-3

Softball vs. SHIPPENSBURG 8-4

Lacrosse (M) @ Mount Olive 3-15

Basketball (W) vs. CARSON-NEWMAN 49-80

Basketball (M) vs. CARSON-NEWMAN 89-104

February 18

Softball vs BARTON 11-3

Baseball vs. SHIPPENSBURG 4-6

Softball vs BARTON 11-0

Lacrosse (W) @ UVA-Wise 12-13

Tennis (W) @ Elon 0-7

February 19

Golf (W) @ Converse Invite - Day 1 (Carolina CC) 

Track/Field @ SAC Indoor Championships W-10th,M-10th

February 20

Golf (W) @ Converse Invite - Day 2 (Carolina CC) 4th of 9

Baseball @ Mount Olive 9-4

Lacrosse (W) vs. MOUNT OLIVE 11-10

February 21

Tennis (M) vs. BELMONT ABBEY 6-3

Basketball (W) @ Newberry 39-59

Basketball (M) @ Newberry 84-92

February 23

Swimming @ Royal Open (Day 1) 

Tennis (W) @ Mount Olive 6-3

Tennis (M) @ Mount Olive 0-9

Lacrosse (M) vs. CHOWAN 27-12

Baseball vs. COKER 26-1

Lacrosse (W) vs. ROLLINS 5-16

February 24

Swimming @ Royal Open (Day 2)

Baseball vs. COKER 16-4

Softball vs USC AIKEN 6-2

Basketball (W) @ Mars Hill 83-48

Softball vs USC AIKEN 5-4

Baseball vs. COKER 15-5

Basketball (M) @ Mars Hill 103-94

February 25

Softball vs YOUNG HARRIS 3-9

Lacrosse (M) vs. FLORIDA SOUTHERN 13-14

Softball vs. YOUNG HARRIS 2-7

February 28

Lacrosse (W) @ Belmont Abbey 12-15

Basketball (W) @ Lincoln Memorial (SAC Tournament - 1st Round) 67-76

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Basketball (W) Team Photo