MISENHEIMER, N.C. - Despite scoring the game's first two runs and battling back from several scoring surges by their opponent, the Pfeiffer University baseball team lost their home-opener to visiting Catawba on Tuesday afternoon, 13-9. The loss drops the Falcons overall record to 5-4 for the young campaign and with the win Catawba picks up their second victory of the season and improves to 2-7.
While the first inning went by scoreless for both squads, Pfeiffer drew first blood picking up two runs in the second to jump out to a 2-0 lead. Senior Matt Wade found base first for the Falcons on a walk and then quickly advanced to second on a wild pitch. Wade moved to third on the next Pfeiffer at-bat when freshman Zach Scudder popped out to the Catawba centerfielder. The Falcons picked up their first tally of the afternoon when Wade took off for home following an error by the Indians' third baseman. Pfeiffer grabbed their second run of the inning when junior Anthony Allende scored from second base on a wild pitch by Catawba's hurler.
Catawba came alive in the third, picking up three quick runs when T.J. Wharton homered to left field. Down 3-2 entering the bottom of the fourth, the Falcons came roaring back grabbing four runs in a flurry started by freshman Dalton Lindley. With two runners in scoring position, Lindley smacked a monster to centerfield, picking up a double for himself and scoring both runners. With the score 4-3 in Pfeiffer's favor, the Indians made a pitching change, but it didn't seem to phase the home team. Lindley scored on the very next play following a Catawba fielding error. Freshman Dylan Goodman added the fourth Falcon run of the inning off of a sacrifice fly to centerfield by senior Jon Gray to put Pfeiffer up 6-3 entering the fifth.
The fifth inning proved to be an offensive battle, with four runs from the Catawba bench and two more added by the Falcons in the bottom of the frame. Down 7-6 entering their half of the inning, Pfeiffer wasn't quite ready to concede to their opponent. Redshirt senior Tyler Summers got things started for the Falcons singling to third base on the team's first at-bat. Summers would eventually score the tying run when Scudder singled up the middle, grabbing his first of two RBIs of the day. Wade put Pfeiffer up 8-7, trotting home when junior Cole McGraw walked with the bases loaded. Both teams picked up single runs in the sixth, heading into the game's final third with Pfeiffer maintaining a 9-8 lead on the visitors.
Following a scoreless seventh inning for both teams, Catawba picked up three runs in the eighth when Wharton smacked his second three-run homer of the day over the left-field fence. Wharton led all players with eight RBIs for the afternoon. Catawba picked up two more runs in the ninth for the game's final tallies.
Lindley led all Pfeiffer players with three hits, only slightly bested by Catawba's Ethan Satterfield who led all players with five hits.
Junior Jesse Park (0-1) picked up the loss for the Falcons with the save being awarded to Catawba's Craig Brooks and the win going to Ryan McClintock (1-0).
Pfeiffer returns to action tomorrow when they travel to Catawba for the second game of an in-season home and home. The first pitch is slated for 5:00 pm.