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Quick start not enough in home loss to No. 5 Catawba

Dawson Gause pitched 3 perfect innings in Tusculum's 10-3 loss to No. 5 Catawba (photo by Steve Lloyd)
Dawson Gause pitched 3 perfect innings in Tusculum's 10-3 loss to No. 5 Catawba (photo by Steve Lloyd)

GREENEVILLE, Tenn. --- Catawba's Hunter Shepherd homered twice to lead the fifth-ranked Indians to a 10-4 South Atlantic Conference win over Tusculum Sunday afternoon at Pioneer Park.

Catawba (11-2, 3-0 SAC) records its 11th consecutive victory and completes the three-game weekend sweep over the Pioneers (9-7, 0-3 SAC).

Bryan Ketchie overcame a rocky first inning only to blank Tusculum for the next 5.2 innings to improve to 2-1 on the season. Ketchie scattered eight hits, three runs, two earned, two walks and four strikeouts.

The Indians finished the game with 14 hits on the afternoon including Cameron Morrison's 4-for-5 effort, while Jeremy Simpson tallied three hits.

All nine Tusculum starters finished the game with at least a single, including two-hit performances by Fuzzy Furr and Jordan Beaver.

Tusculum jumped out to a 3-0 lead in the first inning as Bryson Ford singled and moved to third base on Furr's base hit.  Luis Ezra put the Pioneers on the board with a sacrifice fly.  Later in the inning, Brandon Trammell came through with a two-run, two-out single.

The Indians answered in the next inning as Zack Miller led off with a single and scored on Shepherd's first home run of the game, a blast over the centerfield wall. Morrison made it back-to-back homers with his solo blast to left to tie the game at 3-3. Simpson followed with a single and Joe Butts walked. A sacrifice bunt moved the Catawba duo into scoring position.  Trent Collins took over for TU starter Grant Crosby and a pair of ground outs to leave the score tied.

Catawba took the lead in the third scoring five runs with four of them being unearned due to a pair of TU errors to take an 8-3 lead. The Indians tallied five more hits including Shepherd's second two-run blast of the game to give him six round-trippers this year.

Catawba added two more runs in the fourth frame to make it a 10-3 game. TU scored a run in the ninth inning on Daulton Martin's sacrifice fly to cap the scoring.

TU reliever Dawson Gause pitched three perfect innings for the Pioneers with a pair of strikeouts.

Tusculum will close out its nine-game home-stand on Tuesday when they host in-state foe King University for a 5 p.m. contest.

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