FOREST CITY, N.C. – A five-run fourth inning was enough for top-seeded Catawba to put the game out of reach as the regular season co-champion Indians knocked off sixth-seeded Anderson University baseball, 11-2, in the opening round of the 2014 Food Lion South Atlantic Conference Tournament Thursday afternoon at McNair Field.
With the setback, the Trojans will have to make their run at their first conference tournament championship through the consolation bracket, which begins on Friday at noon against an opponent yet to be determined. Top-seeded Catawba advances to the championship bracket semifinals.
Junior shortstop Brett Cash equaled a season-high with three hits on the day, including his ninth double of the season and an RBI single in the eighth inning. With his three-hit performance, Cash raised his average above .300 for the first time since April 11.
Fellow middle infielder, sophomore second baseman Kyle Bailey, recorded two singles and scored once for his 36th run scored on the year. With the multi-hit game, the middle infield combined for five of Anderson’s nine hits for the contest.
Junior right-hander Landon Beck earned the start for the day and tossed five complete innings and struck out six Catawba hitters. Beck reached 90 punch-outs for the season, but allowed five earned runs in the decisive fifth inning and received his sixth loss of the year.
Catawba posted double figure hits against the Trojans for the third time this season, pounding out 15 for the day. The top of the Indian lineup consisting of Blake Houston, Paul Kronenfeld and Keaton Hawks each tallied two hits apiece and combined for six RBI and five runs scored. At the bottom of the order, catcher Jon Wallace and third baseman Cameron Beard recorded three hits a piece while combining for three runs scored.
The Trojans will be back in action at noon on Friday when they face the loser of Game Two between second-seeded Wingate and fifth-seeded Tusculum. First pitch from McNair Field is scheduled for noon.