NCAA Tournament: Pirates Eliminated with 11-0 Loss to Catawba
MOUNT OLIVE, N.C. - Junior pitcher Ross Whitley tossed a three-hit shutout and fifth-seeded Catawba pounded out 15 hits to advance to championship Sunday with an 11-0 win over third seeded Armstrong Atlantic State Saturday evening in the third round of the NCAA Division II Southeast Regional at Mount Olive, N.C.
With the victory, Catawba advances to play second-seeded Tusculum Sunday at 1 p.m. Tusculum is scheduled to play Francis Marion Saturday night at 8 p.m. If Francis Marion wins, all three teams will advance to Sunday, each having one loss. If Tusculum wins, Catawba will need to beat the Pioneers twice Sunday.
Armstrong finishes the season 41-16.
Whitley (7-3) struck out 14 in a dominating performance. Only twice did the Pirates have a base-runner reach scoring position. Meanwhile five players had at least two hits for the Indian attack.
Catawba got all the offense it needed in the top of the first when Garrett Furr singled home Chris Dula and Ryan Bostian for a 2-0 lead. Brett Underwood's two-run double in the third, then a Julio Zubillaga two-run single in the fifth chased Armstrong starter Scott Strickland(9-4).
The Pirates never found an answer for Whitley, who retired the first seven batters he faced, including five strikeouts.
Armstrong had its first solid chance to score in the third. With one out, Drew Walker walked to become his team's first baserunner. Casey Maloney singled one out later to put runners on the corners. Whitley coaxed a pop out from Alex Frederick to end the threat.
In the seventh, Catawba blew the game open with a four-run seventh. Furr and Zubillaga singled, then advanced on a sacrifice bunt by Underwood. Danny Parisi walked to load the bases with two outs for Keaton Hawks. Hawks delivered a bases-clearing triple to the right-centerfield fence. One batter later, Hawks scored on a single by Dula.
Furr finished with three hits and was one of four Indians with at least two RBI. Beard also had three hits.
Travis Morris came out of the Armstrong bullpen to toss two shutout innings, walking one and striking out two.