College baseball: Indians shelled in opener

Published 11:12 pm Thursday, February 3, 2022

Staff report

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. — At least the weather was nice.

Catawba opened the 2022 season with temperatures in the 70s, a pleasant breeze and a 13-3 loss to the Nova Southeastern Sharks, a strong program that mashed the Indians 25-6 a few years ago.

The Sharks swatted four home runs in a six-run bottom of the third that settled the outcome.

Seven Catawba pitchers combined to allow 18 hits.

Greg Brown is expected to be Catawba’s ace, but he was knocked out after the first two homers were launched in the third. He struck out four and allowed five earned runs.

Catawba led briefly after scoring twice in the top of the first. Joe Butts walked in front of a run-scoring double by Luke Spiva. Spiva scored on Dylan Wilkinson’s single.

But the Sharks scored three in the bottom of the first to take the lead, and it was 9-2 after that longball-filled third.

Catawba didn’t score again until the ninth when Wilkinson, the veteran DH, walked with the bases loaded.

Catawba was limited to four hits by four Nova Southeastern hurlers. Two of those were doubles by Spiva, the returning starter in left field. Anthony Ponce had a pinch-hit single in the ninth.

The Indians drew eight walks (three by Wilkinson ), so there were plenty of baserunners, but 14 Catawba hitters fanned.

The great thing about baseball is the Indians will get a chance to bounce back tonight. They’ll be in West Palm Beach, taking on Palm Beach Atlantic.

Maddux Holshouser, who starred at Carson,  is the probable starting pitcher for Catawba.

Catawba   200    000   001   — 3    4   1

Nova        306    012     01x   — 13  18   1