Baseball

Baseball Scores Seven Unanswered Runs to Beat Mars Hill In Opening Game of SAC Tournament

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KODAK, TN -- The Catawba College baseball team came from behind to defeat Mars Hill in the first game of the South Atlantic Conference Postseason Tournament on Thursday evening. The Indians scored four runs in the bottom of the ninth to send the game to extra innings, then scored the winning run on a wild throw on a pick-off attempt to seal the victory, 7-6.

The Catawba offense was stymied for most of the game as they were held hitless through five innings and had just one hit after the sixth.

Mars Hill got ahead early after the Lions scored three runs on a pair of hits and a throwing error by CatU. Things continued to look bleak in the top of the fifth inning when Mars Hill scored three more runs after the bases were loaded with no outs. The Lions got an RBI single on a hard-hit single to the shortstop, a two-out walk, and another run came in on a fielder's choice. After five, the Indians trailed 6-0.

Catawba finally broke through in the bottom of the seventh inning on a double to left center by Zack Miller. Cameron Mills led off with a walk and came around to score to make it a 6-1 game. In the eighth, the Indians threatened again after a single, walk, and hit-by-pitch loaded the bases yet again. Cameron Mills worked a seven-pitch walk to bring the score to 6-2.

Ross Fowler came into the game and pitched a 1-2-3 top of the ninth to keep the momentum on Catawba's side headed to their final at-bat.

An error on the shortstop sparked the big inning and allowed the lead-off runner to reach safely. After a strikeout, the next four batters reached safely highlighted by singles from Luke Spiva, Dylan Driver, and Henderson Lentz. Driver's single brought home Braxton Davis, and Henderson Lentz's single up the middle brought in Luke Spiva and Levi Perrell. This made it a 6-5 ball game. Harris Jackson came off the bench and stepped up to the plate with one out and runners on second and third and delivered the game-tying RBI sacrifice fly. The game moved to the tenth tied at 6-6.

After a leadoff walk to start off the top half, Ryan Street came in to relieve Fowler. Street got the first out on a SAC bunt then recorded the next two outs on a ground out to third and a fly out to bring the Indians back to the plate in a tie game.

Zack Miller got the party started with a lead off double down the left field line. Braxton Davis moved him over with a bunt to put the winning run 90 feet away with one out. Marshall Raper came in to pinch hit, but he was intentionally walked to open up the double play. The Lions made a crucial mistake when the pitcher threw the pickoff attempt away allowing Miller to come in to score. The Indians roared all the way back from six runs down to win, 7-6.

Ryan Street got the win for his work in the tenth inning, and Dylan Driver and Zack Miller each had two hits apiece and each had an RBI.

The baseball team will enter the double elimination portion of the tournament and will face the second-seeded Newberry Wolves tomorrow at approximately 2:45 p.m.

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