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Catawba baseball beats Tusculum

Staff report
Tusculum has been Catawba’s biggest rival for SAC baseball supremacy in recent seasons so Sunday’s 5-1 victory by the Indians at Fieldcrest Cannon Stadium was a big one.
While the game won’t count in the SAC standings, Catawba showed it can still challenge for league and regional honors without graduated SAC Player of the Year David Thomas and fellow draft pick Jerry Sands, who broke school records as a power hitter.
Still in the lineup for the 29th-ranked Indians are veterans Kevin McMillan, Ryan Query, Craige Lyerly, Brett Hatley and Chris Ahearn, and they backed sensational pitching by preseason All-SAC pick Tim Holmes.
Holmes, who projects to come out of the bullpen on SAC-game weekends, started, allowed four hits and threw five shutout innings. Coach Jim Gantt used six relievers to finish off the 22nd-ranked Pioneers (2-4), who are off to a slow start.
Ahearn, a swift senior shortstop who ran on the 4A state-championship 4×100 relay team when he was at Providence High in Charlotte, had two triples opening day and added three more hits against Tusculum.
Query, playing in his hometown of Kannapolis, had two hits and two RBIs. Former North Rowan standout McMillan has been limited by a hamstring injury, but his two-run, opposite-field double in the fourth inning as the DH was the key hit of the game.
East Rowan grad Lyerly and West Rowan product Hatley had two hits each.
Catawba (2-0) shut out Tusculum until the ninth when Payden Houser delivered a run-scoring single.
Sean Cotten, a Lake Norman product, came through with three hits for the Pioneers.

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