McGovern, Braves Cruise Past No. 21 Catawba
PEMBROKE – UNCP broke open a one-run game with a six-run seventh inning and used a masterful performance from all-American right-hander Matt McGovern to post a 7-0 rout of visiting and 21st-ranked Catawba Wednesday evening at Sammy Cox Field.
Seth Kivett (2-for-4) and Aaron Parnell (2-for-3) each doubled and drove in two runs to fuel the 31st double-digit hitting attack of the season for UNCP (33-13) who moved to 19-5 at home this season with the triumph. Jason Coker scored a run on a 2-for-5 outing for the Braves as well.
Catawba (38-11), who clinched a berth into the NCAA postseason with a perfect run through the South Atlantic Conference Tournament last weekend, had its four-game winning streak snapped with the setback. The Indians got two hits from Ryan Bostian (2-for-4), as well as meaningless base knocks from five other players in the loss.
McGovern (9-1) struck out seven Indians and scattered seven hits across eight strong innings to pick up the win for the Braves in his last home game in the Black and Gold, while Rudy Brown finished out the game by striking out one in a hitless ninth inning. Catawba starter Ross Whitley (4-1) picked up the tough-luck loss for the Indians after yielding just two earned runs and six hits and four walks in six innings from the hill. It was the first loss of the season for the freshman from Mooresville.
Deadlocked in a pitching duel through the first four innings of the game, UNCP used a leadoff triple from Josh Haley and a one-out RBI single by Kivett to scratch the scoreboard first, but then lit up the right field display by breaking out in the seventh. The hosts pounded out five hits in the decisive frame, and got run-scoring knocks from Kivett (double), Keith Whitman (groundout), Parnell (two-run double) and Alex Pearce (two-run single).
McGovern faced four or less batters in seven of his eight innings of works and retired the side in order in the third, fourth and fifth innings.
UNCP will close out its 2010 regular season schedule on Thursday when it welcomes region rival St. Andrews (11-35-1) to Pembroke for a 6 p.m. contest at Sammy Cox Field. Admission prices are $5 for adults and $2 for children 18 years of age and younger. UNCP students are admitted free with a valid Braves Card.