SALISBURY, N.C. - The nationally ranked Catawba College Indians (33-12, 17-5 SAC) appeared to be just that on Friday night as the Brevard College Tornados (10-34, 3-19 SAC) fell to the South Atlantic Conference leader by the final of 14-0.
The Tornados offense tallied nine hits in the contest, as senior Brayden Morris (Pulaski, Va.) and freshman Joe Nelms (Malabar, Fla.) led the offense with two hits apiece. The senior trio of Blaine Durham (Westfield, N.C.), Kyle Morrison (Greensboro, N.C.), and Parker Hubbard (Salisbury, N.C.) collected hits in the contest, while junior Josh Hall (Asheville, N.C.) and freshman Donny Carsillo (Waxhaw, N.C.) capped off the hitting for Brevard.
The No. 15 ranked Indians wasted no time in tacking on runs, as they used a trio of hits in the bottom of the first inning to jump out to a 4-0 lead.
Catawba added on two runs in the second inning when the South Atlantic Conference's leading hitting and home run leader, Luke Setzer, cranked a fastball over the fence for a two run longball to extend their lead to 6-0.
It was deja vu all over again in the bottom half of the third, as the Indians tallied two unearned runs to increase their lead.
The Tornados silenced the bats of the Indians in the fourth inning before Catawba racked up five runs in their biggest inning of the game in the bottom of the fifth.
The Catawba scoring began with two RBI singles and a sacrifice fly before Setzer brought home a run with an RBI triple to center field. A wild pitch in the next at-bat would bring Setzer home to cap off the scoring for the inning.
The Indians tacked on their final run of the game in the bottom of the seventh as an RBI single from Zach Almond brought home Setzer, bringing the game to its final score of 14-0.
Senior Kyle Pittman (Monroe, N.C.) was given the nod to start on the mound for the Tornados, going 4 ? innings while giving up 13 runs, 11 earned on 11 hits.
The freshman duo of Bryce Foster (Brevard, N.C.) and Kross Robinson (Morganton, N.C.) impressed in their appearances out of the bullpen. Foster hurled 2 ? innings of relief while allowing just one run on three hits. Robinson pitched a scoreless inning of relief, as he struck out two Indians in his appearance.
Catawba starter Hunter Shepherd improved to 7-0 on the season following his performance on Friday. The Indians ace threw seven innings of shutout baseball, striking out six and allowing six hits.
The Tornados will look for their first South Atlantic Conference series victory of the season on Saturday as they face Catawba in a doubleheader beginning at 1:00pm.