KANNAPOLIS, N.C. � Newberry led #25 Catawba early, but the Catawba offense was too much in the end as the Indians stayed undefeated in the SAC Preseason Tournament with a 17-5 victory at Fieldcrest-Cannon Stadium. Catawba moves to 11-4 on the season. Newberry falls to 5-13-1.
Both squads picked up one run in the first inning, followed by a pair in the second keeping the contest tied early on. Newberry took advantage of a Catawba miscue which scored Gray Berryhill (Aynor, SC) from second, while Matt Smith�s blast evened things up for Catawba. Brandon Manasa (Miami, FL) smacked a two-run double for Newberry before Nick Lefko (Faith, NC) scored via a wild pitch and Noah Johnson (Huntersville, NC) picked up an RBI single in the second.
With Newberry leading 4-3 after three, Catawba exploded for 14 runs in their final five innings at the plate. Chad Baker (Jamestown, NC) provided a two-run double, while Matt Smith picked up his second RBI with a base hit. Lefko, who went 2-for-3, picked up a solo-HR in the fifth. Newberry committed errors in the seventh and eighth innings to help out Catawba. Aaron Rimer (Salisbury, NC) picked up a RBI getting hit by a pitch with the bases loaded in the sixth before Jerry Sands (Clayton, NC) lifted a sacrifice fly to left field.
A RBI triple from Jimbo Davis (Salisbury, NC) capped the seventh before Matt Smith�s two-run double in the eighth closed scoring out for Catawba. Curt Marshall (Rock Hill, SC) went 3-for-4 for Newberry. Blake Ketner (Davidson, NC) tossed five innings of three hit ball picking up the win in relief.
Senior Matt Smith (Brown Summit, NC) went 5-for-6 with a solo-HR and five RBI.
Newberry wraps up play Sunday afternoon with a 1 p.m. start against Wingate.