Baseball

Ketchie Pitches Indians Past Carson-Newman in Series Opener

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SALISBURY, N.C. – Bryan Ketchie remained unblemished, improving to 7-0 on the mound this season as Catawba defeated Carson-Newman 5-2 Saturday at Newman Park.

The Indians have won five straight in South Atlantic Conference play, improving to 21-7 overall and 7-3 in the league, while Carson-Newman falls to 18-8 on the year and 2-4 against the conference.

Ketchie allowed two runs on nine hits and two walks, fanning five in six innings of work. DJ Laxton earned his first save of the season, working the final three frames without surrendering a run. The Eagles mustered just two hits and struck out three times against Laxton.

Catawba opened up a 2-0 lead in the second with three hits and capitalizing on a miscue by the visitors.

Carson-Newman responded with one in the next frame and it remained 2-1 until the bottom of the fifth.

Jackson Raper led off with a triple into the right field corner and Cameron Morrison lofted a fly ball deep enough to right, scoring Raper on a sacrifice fly. Hunter Shepherd followed Morrison with a homer to left – his team high seventh – nudging the Indians’ advantage to 4-1.

In the seventh, the teams traded solo runs and that was all the offense Catawba needed.

Heath Mitchem went 3 for 5 at the dish, driving in one for the Indians, while Shepherd recorded two hits in three at-bats, scoring twice.

The teams conclude the series Sunday with a double header at 1 p.m. at Newman Park. Catawba seeks its third-consecutive South Atlantic Conference series win, after dropping the first three-game set 1-2 against Wingate.

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