Baseball Falls to Carson-Newman in First Round of SAC Tournament
FOREST CITY, NC -- A second comeback attempt came up just short for Catawba as it fell to Carson-Newman 6-5 in the first round of the Food Lion South Atlantic Conference Baseball Tournament Thursday afternoon at McNair Field. Catawba drops to 37-11 overall while the Eagles improve to 25-23.
Catawba found itself down a run after one inning as Carson-Newman took the lead on a Lance Reed sacrifice fly that plated Phillip Duncan. The Eagles added two more runs in the second on a Bo Ausmus double and a Mason Guymon single for a 3-0 cushion.
Greg Lawson (Charlotte, NC/Providence HS) scored on a sacrifice fly from Brett Underwood (Greensboro, NC/SW Guilford HS) in the bottom of the third inning to cut the lead to 3-1.
Carson-Newman hit up Catawba starting pitcher JJ Jankowski (McMurray, PA/Peters Township HS/Miami, OH) for seven hits and three earned runs through six-and-a-third innings pitched. The senior pitcher also walked one and struck out six.
Zach Long and Duncan both scored in the Eagle seventh frame on a throwing error by Julio Zubillaga (China Grove, NC/Carson HS) as he made a play at first on a Reed grounder.
Catawba had a big seventh inning to tie the game at five runs apiece. Ryan Bostian (Kannapolis, NC/S. Rowan HS/Montreat) doubled in Lawson and Zubillaga and later scored along with Garrett Furr (Gold Hill, NC/Mt. Pleasant HS) on a Cameron Beard (Conover, NC/Bunker Hill HS) single to right. Beard was thrown out while trying to advance to second base which ended the inning.
In the eighth inning relief pitcher Ross Whitley (Mooresville, NC/Lake Norman HS) gave up a single to Carson-Newman’s Duncan that would score Troy Zawadzki because of an interference call on the third baseman Beard. The Eagles went ahead 6-5 on the pivotal play.
The Indians threatened in their half of the eighth as they had the bases loaded with one out on two singles and a walk. Eagle reliever Brian Timmerman then struck out Bostian as Zubillaga was forced out at second base on an Underwood grounder to end the rally attempt.
Beard hit a two-out single in the ninth for Catawba but Russell Michalec (Salisbury, NC/Salisbury HS) grounded out to second on the next play.
Whitley took the loss for the Indians as Ryan Fillers pick up the victory for Carson-Newman allowing two runs on two hits in one inning of work.
Mario Parisi (Shirley, NY/Longwood HS) led Catawba with three hits as Cody Fox, Long and Duncan each had two hits for the Eagles.
Catawba plays Friday at noon against Newberry, a 6-1 loser to Tusculum. Related Item: Box Score