AIKEN, S.C.--Catawba (14-8) posted a five-run first inning and cruised to an 11-3 win over 12th ranked USC Aiken (14-5) on Wednesday evening in non-conference baseball action at Roberto Hernandez Stadium. Seven Indians had at least two hits as Catawba belted seven of their 16 hits for extra bases. Meanwhile, three Indian hurlers held the Pacers’ offense in check.
In the opening frame, Ryan Query singled to left field to plate Jerry Sands and make it 2-0. Four of the first five batters for Catawba reached for a hit. Zeb Link had the big blow in the inning, bases loaded double to left center, driving in three.
Query, Sands, and Link each had two hits while Link drove in four RBI. David Thomas and Craig Lyerly also had two-hit nights while Brett Hartley was 3-for-5 with two runs scored and a solo home run in the sixth.
Trailing 9-0 entering the home half of the sixth, the Pacers finally got on the board with a two-out, RBI single by Chris Sheehan that plated Darryl Pui. Ken Raborn had the lone extra base hit for USCA when he doubled in the second inning.
Thomas and Lyerly added RBI hits in the top of the ninth before USC Aiken countered with two scores in their last at bat to set the final margin at 11-3.
In his first collegiate start, Edwin Keeler (0-1) surrendered six runs, five earned, on seven hits and two walks, striking out two in 5.0 innings in the loss.
Alex Fairweather (4-1) relieved Tim Smith in the fourth inning, working 3.0 innings allowing one unearned run on two hits, fanning three for the win.