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Khi Holiday
Khi Holiday went two-for-four with two runs scored and an RBI.
photo courtesy of Lenoir-Rhyne Athletics

Lenoir-Rhyne Baseball Drops Opener of SAC Tournament

The Lenoir-Rhyne Baseball Team dropped its opening contest of the 2024 SAC Tournament to the No. 1 seeded Catawba Indians, 8-7.

In the top half of the seventh inning, the Bears had their best offensive frame of the day by bringing home four runs to extend their lead to a 7-2 advantage.

However, the Indians began to chip away at their deficit by scoring two runs in the seventh and eighth innings to make it a one-run ball game entering the ninth inning.

After the Bears could not build an insurance in the top of the ninth, Catawba tried to keep the offense rolling in the home half of the ninth. That ran into a speed bump though as pinch runner Parker Styborski overshot third base to be charged with the first out in the inning.

Unfortunately for LR, in the very next at-bat, Logan Rogers crushed a ball to dead center to hit the walk-off two-run home run to put Catawba in the winner’s bracket.

The Bears had an all-around team effort on offense as seven different players drove in a run during the contest. In the hits department, Khi Holiday, Cole Laskowski and Owen Blackledge each collected two hits for the Bears. Blackledge and Blake Bean had the two extra-base hits for the Bears, with each player recording a double. Dillon Chapa, who got the start for the Bears, struck out six batters and allowed only two hits in his outing. The junior pitched 4.1 innings in his SAC Tournament debut.

Brynden Rodriguez, who was handed his first loss of the season, gave up four hits and two earned runs in his 0.2 innings of work.
In addition to Rogers’ walk-off home run, Catawba totaled five extra-base hits in its own ballpark. The Indians had an additional home run by Dylan Driver and three doubles in the opening-round contest.

In the all-time series history, Catawba leads LR, 146-110. For SAC Tournament play, LR has a 26-35 all-time record. This marks the first time since 2021 that LR has lost the opening game of the SAC Baseball Tournament. That last time it occurred was a 4-2 defeat to Coker in Kodak, Tenn. In the regular season, the Bears lost two of three contests to Catawba. The second game of that series was also won by a Indians’ walk-off home run. This was the third-straight SAC Baseball Tournament that LR has faced the No. 1 seed. The Bears saw Wingate three times in 2022 and Newberry two times in 2023.

The Lenoir-Rhyne Baseball Team will be placed into the loser’s bracket section of the SAC Tournament. The Bears will face No. 4 seeded Tusculum on Saturday, May 4 at 2:45 p.m. When the two sides met in the regular season, the Pioneers took two of three over the Bears in Greeneville, Tenn.

{Information provided by Lenoir-Rhyne Athletics}