PEMBROKE – Visiting and 14th-ranked Catawba broke open an otherwise close game with four runs in the sixth inning and rode the efforts of a four-armed pitching staff to a 7-3 win over UNCP on Wednesday evening at Sammy Cox Field.
The setback stretched the losing streak for UNCP (29-19) out to four games, while also snapping a four-game series winning streak for the Braves that dated back all the way to the 2009 season. The triumph was the eighth win in the last 10 outings for the Indians (39-12) who made an unexpected early exit from the South Atlantic Conference Tournament last weekend.
Aaron Parnell clubbed his third home run of the season and drove in a pair of runs on a 2-for-4 performance, while six other Braves tallied one hit apiece. Garrett Furr doubled and booked his 10th home run of the season on a 3-for-4 hitting line for the visitors.
Brantley Hattrich (5-3) saddled the loss for UNCP after surrendering seven earned runs on 12 hits in 5-2/3 innings of work. He also struck out four batters. Nate King (4-2) grabbed the win for the Indians by scattering six hits and three runs (two earned) over 6-2/3 innings from the hill. He struck out five Braves.
Josh Haley doubled to lead off the game for the Braves and eventually scored on a Parnell groundout minutes later to give the hosts a quick 1-0 lead. Catawba pushed across the game-tying run in the third, and then took the lead for good with two more scores in the fourth. The Indians would put the game away by sending their entire lineup to the dish in the pivotal sixth inning.
Parnell's solo blast in the bottom of the sixth, as well as Max Gagnon's two-out RBI single in the seventh, would provide the final.