WINGATE, N.C. - The second-seeded Catawba College Catawba Indians pounded out 21 hits en route to a 13-4 victory over fifth-seeded Newberry College in the first round of the Food Lion South Atlantic Conference Tournament at Ron Christoper Stadium on Thursday afternoon.
Catawba (31-15) advances to take on the winner of tonight's Mars Hill/Wingate game in the winner's bracket at 7:30 p.m. Friday. Newberry (17-22) takes on sixth-seeded Lenoir-Rhyne at noon Friday in an elimination contest.
Catawba's Craige Lyerly (Salisbury, N.C.) was an impressive 5-for-5 at the plate with three RBIs, two runs, two doubles, two steals and a walk. Cameron White (Columbia, S.C.) was 4-for-4 with a walk and three runs scored.
Catawba starter Blake Ketner (Davidson, N.C.; 9-3 record) allowed four runs - three earned - on nine hits in 7-2/3 innings of work to pick up the win. Newberry's Josh McElwee (Andrews, S.C.; 5-3 record) was tagged with the loss after allowing seven earned runs on eight hits in 2-1/3 innings.
Newberry was paced offensively by Edmund Gravely (Rocky Mount, N.C.), who was 2-for-3 at the plate with a two-run single in the first inning. Casio Grider (Hephzibah, Ga.) was 2-for-4 on the day.
The scarlet and gray took the lead in the top of the first inning when Gravely singled up the middle to drive home Jovan Rohena (Trujillo Alto, Puerto Rico) and Jose Rosa (Keystone Heights, Fla.).
Catawba took the lead with five runs in the bottom of the second. Corey Parker (Kernersville, N.C.) put the first run on the board with an RBI single to left-center, followed by a two-run double down the right field line from Lyerly. Brett Hatley (Salisbury, N.C.) and Ryan Query (Kannapolis, N.C.) each drove in runs with singles to give the Catawba Indians the 5-2 lead after two innings.
Zeb Link (Woodleaf, N.C.) drove home a run for Catawba with a double in the second and Lyerly collected his third RBI of the day with a single through the left side to put Catawba up by a 7-2 margin through three innings.
Neither team crossed the plate again until the sixth inning, when Catawba scored three times. With the bases loaded, Link drove home a run with an infield single and Parker plated two runs with a double down the left field line to take a 10-2 lead after six. Query added another run in the bottom of the seventh, as he led off the frame with a solo homerun to right field.
Newberry's offensive came back to life in the top of the eighth inning, taking advantage of two of Catawba's four errors on the day. C.J. Tyrkala (Palm Harbor, Fla.) and Gravely scored on errors in the inning to narrow the deficit to 11-4.
Catawba extended the winning margin to three runs in the bottom of the eighth on a Hatley sacrifice fly and an RBI single from Chris Ahearn (Charlotte, N.C.).
Catawba 13, Newberry 4
(Apr 23, 2009 at Wingate, N.C.)
Newberry............ 200 000 020 - 4 10 0 (17-22)
Catawba............. 052 003 12X - 13 21 4 (31-15)
Pitchers: Newberry - Josh McElwee; Chauncey Mattei(3); Gary Hersey(5); Matt Mege(8) and Jose Rosa; C.J. Tyrkala. Catawba - Blake Ketner; Wil Huneycutt(8) and Ryan Query.
Win-Blake Ketner(9-3) Loss-Josh McElwee(5-3) T-2:44 A-159
HR CATBB - Ryan Query (16).
Gary Hersey faced 1 batter in the 8th.
FULL BOX SCORE