FOREST CITY, N.C. — Third-seeded Catawba pounded out 13 hits en route to a 12-5 victory over fourth-seeded Carson-Newman on Thursday in the first round of the Food Lion South Atlantic Conference Baseball Tournament at McNair Field.
With the win, No. 24 Catawba (35-9) advances to the quarterfinals and will face fifth-seeded Tusculum on Friday at 7:30 p.m. in a rematch of last year's SAC Tournament final. The Eagles (29-16) will play sixth-seeded Lincoln Memorial at 3:45 p.m. on Friday.
Craige Lyerly (Salisbury, N.C.) tallied two triples to lead the Indians, while Garrett Furr (Gold Hill, N.C.), Josh Hohn (Greensboro, N.C.) and Corey Parker (Kernersville, N.C.) produced two hits apiece. Both Lyerly and Hohn drove in two runs each, while John Neese (Summerfield, N.C.) contributed a two-run home run.
Carson-Newman collected six hits on the night. Wesley Dozier (Cornelius, N.C.) went 3-for-4, including a double and a two-run home run, and drove in four runs to lead the Eagles.
Catawba starting pitcher Trevor Mullins (Jamestown, N.C.) earned the win. Mullins (8-2) gave up three runs and four hits and fanned six in six innings of work.
Indian's reliever Wil Huneycutt (Locust, N.C.) tossed a perfect 1 1/3 innings to earn his third save of the season.
Eagles starting hurler Austin Bridgewater (Morristown, Tenn.) fell to 5-1 on the season after surrendering four runs and three hits in two innings on the mound.
Catawba built a 2-0 lead in the second. After the Indians loaded the bases, Brett Underwood (Greensboro, N.C.) drew a walk to bring home Furr. Parker then delivered a run-scoring single to give Catawba a two-run advantage.
The Indians tallied three more runs in the third. Lyerly produced a RBI triple as he reached base for the 80th straight game. Furr drove in a run with a sacrifice fly, and Underwood added a RBI single to give Catawba a 5-0 cushion.
The Eagles pulled to within 5-1 in the fourth, as Derek Long (Jefferson City, Tenn.) ripped a double off the left field wall for C-N's first hit and later scored on a Dozier double to left.
Wade Moore (Salisbury, N.C.) gave the Bulldogs a 6-1 lead in the sixth with a RBI single to center field, scoring Parker.
C-N then cut Wingate's lead in half in the seventh, as Dozier launched a two-run blast to left field, but a Hohn single in the home half of the seventh drove home Neese to put the Bulldogs ahead, 7-3.
Dozier and Morgan Gregory (Nashville, Tenn.) each produced RBI singles in the eight to trim Catawba's lead to 7-5.
However, the Indians erupted for five runs in the home half of the eighth to put the game out of reach. Ryan Bostian (Kannapolis, N.C.) came through with a run-scoring single in the inning, while Lyerly had a RBI triple and Neese crushed a two-run home run to center field. Hohn also produced a RBI double in the inning.