Baseball

Baseball Falls to Mercyhurst at D2 Championships

18_BB_ButtsJoePBA

CARY, N.C. -- Catawba was eliminated from the 2019 NCAA II Baseball Championships, falling to seventh-seeded and 19th-ranked Mercyhurst 8-5 on Tuesday afternoon at the USA Baseball National Training Complex’s Coleman Field. The Lakers move to 35-15 and keep their season alive. The Catawba Indians, ranked 11th and seeded third, end their season at 47-14.

For the second straight game it was a five-run fifth inning that was too much for Catawba to overcome. Jack Elliott’s three-run homer gave Mercyhurst a lead it never relinquished at 5-3. The Lakers tacked on another run in the frame on a double by Josh Surowiec.

A solo home run by Jackson Raper in the sixth pulled the Indians within 6-4, but Mercyhurst pushed the margin to 8-4 in the seventh. Matthew Schneider, who had homered in the second, tripled home a run in the seventh. He finished a single shy of the cycle and scored the final run on a single by Surowiec.

Catawba put together one last push in the ninth. Jeremy Simpson and Hunter Shepherd drew two out walks. Joe Butts singled Simpson in to bring the tying run to the plate, but Raper was retired by Jared Kapturnasky to end the game. It was his fourth save.

The Indians had grabbed the lead in the third, answering the home run by Schneider with three of their own. Heath Mitchem singled the tying run in and Butts had a two-run single.

Butts had two hits and three RBI, while Mitchem had two hits and drove in one to lead the offense. Jacob Nester got the third inning started with a bunt single. Simpson had the other Indian hit.

Scheider and Surowiec each had three hits and two RBI for Mercyhurst. Schneider scored three runs. Domenic DeRenzo collected a pair of hits.

Matthew Minnick (7-3) pitched into the seventh to earn the win. He fanned six and allowed five hits and two walks. Riley Myers (9-1) took the loss for the Indians. He fanned seven over four and a third innings.

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Baseball vs. UC San Diego (NCAA II National Finals) 0-5

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Baseball vs. Mercyhurst (NCAA II National Finals) 5-8

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