College baseball: Catawba sweeps Coker
Published 2:24 am Monday, March 20, 2023
SALISBURY — None of the three games was routine, but Catawba’s baseball team got the weekend sweep of the Coker Cobras (10-19, 2-10) that it needed.
The Indians won 10-8 and 5-2 on Saturday and 3-2 on Sunday at Newman Park against one of the teams near the bottom of the South Atlantic Conference standings.
The SAC schedule has been super-friendly so far for the Indians with the first three series against lower-tier opponents, but they have been doing a nice job of finding a way to win games that they’re supposed to win. They’ve taken every series and swept two of them.
Catawba (18-9, 8-1) is tied for first place with Newberry (22-4, 8-1). Carson-Newman is 7-2 in the league. Wingate swept Lenoir-Rhyne over the weekend to knock the Bears out of first place. Wingate and Tusculum had 8-4 league records, while Lenoir-Rhyne is 6-3. All of those teams figure to be contenders in a spirited fight for the SAC championship.
Highlights of the weekend included the first Catawba wins for transfer Cole Hales (Carson) and freshman Casey Gouge (West Rowan).
Catawba 10, Coker 8
Catawba had 16 hits in Saturday’s series opener and needed them to overcome a five-run deficit.
Trailing 7-4, Catawba put together a six-run inning. Levi Perrell had four hits, while Cooper Bryson had three.
Blake Marsh had the two-run single that broke a 7-all tie.
Austin Fine pitched six innings. Hales pitched the eighth and ninth, allowing one run and got the win.
Catawba 5, Coker 2
In the seven-inning game, Patrick Hogan was hit by a pitch with the bases loaded to break a 2-all tie in the third.
Dylan Driver (Carson) had a run-scoring double to make it 4-2.
Joseph Webb (3-1) got the win in relief. He shut out Coker for 3 2/3 innings.
Marshall Raper earned his second save.
Catawba 3, Coker 2
Mason Gwyn provided a solid start before Gouge dominated for four innings in relief, striking out five.
Catawba only had five hits, but Jackson Finger had a triple and Logan Rogers (Carson) and Cameron Mills had doubles.
Robbie Cowie got an exciting save, his third. Coker had two hits with two outs in the ninth, but Cowie got a ground ball to end it.
Catawba has a busy week with games scheduled Tuesday at Mount Olive and at home at 4 p.m. on Wednesday against Barton.
Catawba will play a big SAC series at Wingate, starting on Friday.