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Catawba baseball: Indians smash Coker in SAC opener

Staff report

SALISBURY — Catawba’s baseball team belted five homers, tied the school-record with 11 doubles and demolished Coker, 26-1, at Newman Park on Friday night.

Catawba (5-9) had three huge innings in the South Atlantic Conference opener for both teams, putting up seven runs in the first, adding six in the third, and piling on with nine in the seventh.

Catawba’s 24-hit attack included four doubles by Kyle Smith to tie Chance Bowden’s school record. Smith knocked in five. Luke Setzer hit two homers and drove in six runs.

Jackson Raper had five hits, including a homer and three doubles. Bowden and Hunter Shepherd also smacked homers for the Indians.

Riley Myers (2-3) pitched brilliantly for six scoreless innings, scattering four hits and striking out 11. Bryan Ketchie shut out Coker in the seventh and eighth. After Pearce Wilhelm walked two batters to start the ninth, Caleb Link got the final three outs. Coker (9-2) managed a run in the ninth on a sacrifice fly.

Catawba had production up and down coach Jim Gantt’s lineup card. Heath Mitchem went 2-for-2. Jacob Nester had two hits and two RBIs. Cameron Morrison went 2-for-2 and scored four runs. Reserve freshman catcher Trevor Atwood had one of the 11 doubles and knocked in two runs. Twelve different Indians had at least one hit.

Raper’s RBI double in the first plated Setzer and got the scoring started. Bowden’s RBI single made it 2-0 before Nester knocked in two runs with a hit. Lee Poteat got the fifth run home with a groundout. Smith’s opposite-field double made it 7-0, and Myers had a nice cushion to work with.

In the third inning, Setzer’s three-run homer and Bowden’s two-run blast made it a laugher.

In the sixth, Raper pulled a solo homer on a 2-0 pitch.

Setzer, the reigning SAC Player of the Year, launched his second three-run homer of the night in the seventh, and Shepherd  followed a Raper double with a two-run shot.

The teams have two games scheduled today at Newman Park, starting at 1 p.m.

Coker     000   000   001    — 1    5   0

Catawba 706  201   91x   —  26  24  0

HR — Catawba: Setzer 2, Bowden, Raper, Shepherd. W — Myers (2-3). L — Taylor (1-2).

 

 

 

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