College baseball: Indians stay alive, will play Saturday afternoon at Newman Park

Published 11:36 pm Friday, May 17, 2024


Staff report

SALISBURY — Catawba’s baseball season continues, as the Indians finally were able to beat UNC Pembroke in a close game.

UNCP had beaten Catawba twice in extra innings during the regular season, but Catawba pulled out a 5-4 decision against the Braves on Friday at Newman Park.

Catawba, UNC Pembroke and Young Harris all have one loss in the double-elimination Southeast Regional.

Catawba (41-15)  is in the best position, as the Indians will play at 3:45 on Saturday for the right to advance. Young Harris and UNCP will play an elimination game at noon to determine who gets to face the Indians.

Catawba was out-homered 3-0, but still managed to win on Friday.

Bo Rusher’s RBI single was the key hit of the first inning as Catawba grabbed a quick 2-0 lead.

Kody O’Connor homered to put the Braves (43-13) on the board in the top of the fourth. UNCP took a 3-2 lead in the fifth when Ashton Donathan socked a two-run homer.

Dylan Driver scored on a wild pitch in the seventh to give Catawba a 3-all tie.

UNCP’s third homer came in the eighth, a solo shot by Michael Dolberry for a 4-3 lead.

But Catawba scored twice in the bottom of the eighth. Logan Rogers walked and Cooper Bryson bunted for a hit to set the table, and the Indians were able to score two. Levi Perrell had a run-scoring single.

On the mound, Payne Stolsworth allowed the first two homers but gave the Indians five innings and a chance to win.

Mason Gwyn (9-1) allowed one run in three innings and was credited with the win.

Hayden Simmerson saved it, striking out two batters in the ninth.

Bryson had three hits, while Sam Huner had two for Catawba.