Feb. 20, 2010

Courtesy of Catawba

GREENEVILLE, TN -- Craige Lyerly (Salisbury, NC/E. Rowan HS) collected three hits and Catawba benefited from five Tusculum errors in an 11-3 win over the host Pioneers in South Atlantic Conference baseball action on Friday night at Pioneer Park. The 11th-ranked Catawba Indians tie the school record for the most wins to start a season, matching the 1946 squad at 10-0. Tusculum falls to 4-4. It was the league opener for both teams.

Catawba snapped a 2-2 tie with four runs in the fourth and Nathan Furr (Albemarle, NC/W. Stanly HS) kept the Pioneers from making a rally in improving to 3-0. The Pioneers loaded the bases in the eighth, but Furr's former high school teammate, Wil Huneycutt (Locust, NX/W. Stanly HS), got Branfry Arias to line to center to end the frame. He then tossed a perfect ninth to grab the save.

A Pioneer error led to four unearned runs in the big fourth inning for Catawba, which started after two quick outs. Brett Underwood (Greensboro, NC/SW Guilford HS) was hit by a pitch then Griffin Wise and Wade Moore (Salisbury, NC/W. Rowan HS/NC State) walked to load the bases. All three runs scored when Zeb Link's (Woodleaf, NC/W. Rowan HS) fly ball to right field was mishandled. Lyerly singled home Link for a 6-2 lead.

Josh Hohn (Greensboro, NC/S. Guilford HS/N. Greenville) led off the Tribe fifth with a home run and Garrett Furr (Gold Hill, NC/Mt. Pleasant HS) scored on a double play groundout after reaching on an error. Tusculum picked up a run in the fifth no a wild pitch, but Catawba put the game away with three runs in the ninth after the TC threat in the eighth. Garrett Furr doubled home two runs and Ryan Bostian (Kannapolis, NC/S. Rowan HS/Montreat) hit a sacrifice fly.

Nathan Furr went seven and two-thirds innings and allowed nine hits with four strikeouts. Only one of the three runs he allowed was earned. Huneycutt had two strikeouts in his inning and a third. Seven of the runs allowed by the Pioneers were unearned.

Lyerly went 3-for-3 with a pair of RBI and also walked. He has reached base safely in 45 straight games and has a hit in 79 of his last 82 games dating back to 2008. Hohn and Garrett Furr each had two hits. Payden Houser had three this for Tusculum, while Sean Cotton had a pair of hits. The Pioneers were limited to nine singles.

Catawba scored first as Hohn led off the second with a double and scored on a double play groundout. Tusculum struck back in its second with a pair of runs on a throwing error. The Indians tied the game in the third when Lyerly hit a sacrifice fly to score Moore, who had led off with a double.