NCAA Baseball: No. 11 Catawba defeats Young Harris in first round of regional

NCAA Baseball: No. 11 Catawba defeats Young Harris in first round of regional

NEWBERRY, S.C. | Heath Mitchem and Bryce Butler combined to drive in five runs as No. 11 Catawba College defeated Young Harris College 9-2 in the first round of the NCAA Division II Baseball Southeast Regional No. 2 Thursday (May 16) evening at the Smith Road Complex.

Catawba improved to 43-13 and advances to the second round to face tournament host and No. 9-ranked Newberry College at 7 p.m. Friday (May 17). The Mountain Lions, who are making their first-ever trip to the NCAA postseason, fell to 35-20 and they will face Newberry at 3:30 p.m. Friday (May 17) in the second round of the double-elimination tournament.

The Indians took a 2-0 lead in the bottom of the third as Hunter Shepherd had a sacrifice fly and RBI double down the left field line by Joe Butts. Catawba took control of the game with five two-out runs in the fifth inning, highlighted by a two-run single by Butler and a Mitchem triple scored two more runs.

Zavier Lushington connected on a two-run homer to left field in the eighth inning. It was Lushington's 12th home run of the season.

The Mountain Lions collected six hits. In addition to Lushington, T.J. Byrd, Dahlton Cash, Tyler Washington, Corley Reynolds and Brett Graczyk had hits for Young Harris.

Bryan Ketchie (9-1) recorded the complete-game win for Catawba with seven strikeouts, while Dylan Gibeau (7-3) absorbed the loss for the Mountain Lions.