College baseball: Catawba advances to Super Regional; D-I conference tournaments this week

Published 10:52 pm Sunday, May 19, 2024


Staff report

SALISBURY — Left-hander Casey Gouge’s finest moments as a Catawba pitcher came on Saturday and propelled the Indians to the next round of the Division II playoffs.

The “Super Regional” is next.

Catawba, which survived a three-team regional with Young Harris and UNC Pembroke at Newman Park, will face Georgia College & State University in a best-of-three Southeast Regional championship series that will start at 6 p.m. at Newman Park on Friday. Game 2 will be played on Saturday afternoon at 3:30 p.m., followed by Game 3 if necessary.

The school from Milledgeville, Ga. is a hot team. Georgia College (37-20) appeared to be the least likely squad to emerge from a four-team regional at North Greenville, but Georgia College went 3-0 and outlasted North Greenville, Wingate and Mount Olive.

After Young Harris eliminated UNC Pembroke 9-7 on Saturday afternoon, Young Harris took on Catawba on Saturday night.

The Indians won 6-4 to eliminate Young Harris. All the scoring for both teams came in the first three innings. Catawba put 2s on the scoreboard three straight innings.

Levi Perrell had two doubles and drove in two runs for the Indians. Catawba (42-15) also got RBIs from Dylan Driver, Sam Hunter, Bo Rusher and Drew Robertson.

Jack Enrico and Marco Colina homered for Young Harris, and Catawba starting pitcher Cole Hales was knocked out in the third inning.

Gouge entered at that point and pitched into the eighth. He got 15 outs, while allowing two hits and no walks. He struck out four, as Catawba, the “visitor” for this regional game, maintained a 6-4 lead.

“Gouge made the difference,” Catawba head coach Jim Gantt said.

Brandon Rodgers got two outs in the eighth.

Hayden Simmerson came in to close in the ninth and notched another save.


Cord Butler (A.L. Brown) did it again on Friday. Butler (12-0) struck out 13 in 3-hitter vs Scranton in the regional opener for NC Wesleyan in Newport News.  
NC Wesleyan is 3-1 in the regional and will play host Christopher Newport for the championship on Monday.
Freshman Haiden Leffew (South Rowan) has pitched in 18 games for Wake Forest and is 3-0. The Demons Deacons lost their regular season finale to NC State on Saturday. 

Wake Forest is the 8 seed for the ACC Tournament in Charlotte and starts pool play on Wednesday.

POOL A – No. 1 North Carolina, No. 8 Wake Forest, No. 12 Pitt

POOL B – No. 2 Clemson, No. 7 Louisville, No. 11 Miami

POOL C – No. 3 NC State, No. 6 Duke, No. 10 Virginia Tech

POOL D – No. 4 Virginia, No. 5 Florida State, No. 9 Georgia Tech

UNC pounded Duke 14-6 to close regular season. Center fielder Vance Honeycutt (Salisbury), a semifinalist for the Dick Howser Trophy as national player of the year, and pitcher Cameron Padgett (East Rowan) are part of a team that earned the No 1 seed. UNC’s first pool game is on Thursday afternoon against Pitt. 
The hitting coach for Duke is former South Rowan star Eric Tyler.
 Nathan Chrismon (South Rowan) and Jake Hunter (East Rowan) were part of East Carolina’s 5th straight AAC championship.
The conference tournament starts in Clearwater, Fla., on Tuesday.
High Point’s Charlie Klingler (East Rowan) will take a .295 batting average into Big South Tournament.
High Point is the tournament host at Truist Point, Thursday through Saturday.
Liberty’s Kane Kepley (South Rowan) will take .332 batting average into CUSA Tournament in Louisiana. The first game for the Flames, who are seeded fifth, will be against Sam Houston on Wednesday night.