KODAK, Tenn. – The Lions' lost to no. 20 Catawba 11-1 in the 2017 Pilot/Flying J South Atlantic Conference Baseball Tournament held at the Smokies Stadium. Mars Hill ends the 2017 campaign with a 29-21 record while the Indians improved to 37-12 on the season.
Chance Bowden led Catawba going 2-4 with a homerun and three RBI. Nick Coble was 1-4 with a homerun and two RBI. Hunter Shepherd obtained the win (8-0) on the mound pitching 6.1 innings scattering three hits and no earned runs.
Catawba jumped out to a 3-0 lead in the top of the third inning on the same number of hits before Matt Honeycutt scored the Lions' only run off a Catawba miscue in the bottom half of the third. The Indians went on to score four runs in the fifth, three in the sixth and one in the eighth to make the final tally 11-1.
Despite the setback today, Mars Hill had a great season winning 29 games, having the best SAC regular season winning percentage since 2010 and leading the league in team ERA (4.26). Hunter Merrill hit .415 and led the SAC in stolen bases. Brett Brubaker hit .345 with 14 homeruns and 55 RBI. Zac Brown recorded six wins on the mound while Travis Owens batted .331 and Matt Honeycutt batted .317. Daniel Vitello hit .302 with 12 stolen bases while Christian Stampler hit .300 with five homeruns and 31 RBI. These are just a few examples of the balanced effort Mars Hill's baseball team gave to reach this level of success.