Atlanta, Ga. – Matthew Koehler homered twice including a game-tying two-run home run in the top of the fifth inning on Friday evening. However, eighth-ranked Georgia Tech responded with a pair of runs in the home half of the fifth as the Yellow Jackets exploded for 21 unanswered runs in handing Western Carolina a 25-4 loss in nonconference action at Russ Chandler Stadium.
Game two of the series is scheduled for Saturday afternoon. In an effort to avoid forecasted inclement weather, first pitch has been bumped up to 2:00 pm. Fans can follow the game on the ACC Network Extra video with live audio from the Catamount Sports Network available online at CatamountSports.com.
Koehler finished 2-for-4 with three RBI, collecting his third home run in the past two games to take the team lead with a dozen on the year. The Raleigh, N.C., native homered in the first inning to give the Catamounts the early, 1-0, lead only to see Tech score four runs with a pair of homers in the home portion of the first.
After three scoreless innings, the Catamounts rallied in the top of the fifth inning. Jalen Jones hustled down the first-base line for a two-out infield single to ignite the rally. Daylan Nanny then drove his team-best 18th double of the season into the right-field corner, plating Jones to cut the Jackets’ lead in half, 4-2. With Nanny aboard, Koehler drove a line-drive, two-run homer out to right field, tying the game at four.
However, the momentum swing was short-lived as Georgia Tech loaded the bases in the bottom of the frame, scoring runs on an infield ground out and a sacrifice fly to pull back in front, 6-4. Then, the Yellow Jackets took control of the game with an 11-run sixth inning, sending 14 batters to the plate. After WCU tied the game at four, Georgia Tech scored 21-unanswered runs in the winning effort.
Nanny finished 1-for-4 with his double representing WCU’s only other extra base hit. Luke Robinson reached twice with a single and a walk in a 1-for-3 showing with Jones (1-for-3), Justice Bigbie (1-for-4), and Bryson Parks (1-for-1), who like Jones reached on an infield single to round-out WCU’s seven hits.
Georgia Tech (31-14) had five players post multi-hit games as the Yellow Jackets pounded out 18 hits including two triples and six home runs in the win. Jackson Webb led the way with a 4-for-6, three RBI outing, while Luke Waddell reached three times in drawing three of the 12 walks issued.
Catamount reliever Davis Tyndall (0-2) was saddled with the loss, tagged with two runs on two hits with a walk in the sixth inning as both runs scored after he left the mound. Jack Snyder tossed four solid innings in the starting role, working around four hits and five walks with a pair of strikeouts in allowing four runs. WCU used a combined seven pitchers with Ryan MItschele striking out one in an inning and a third while Kitt Capell made his collegiate debut on the mound, fanning one in an inning of work.
GT starter Amos Willingham (5-2) picked up the victory, striking out two over five innings while allowing four runs on five hits. Four Yellow Jacket relievers tossed an inning apiece, limiting WCU to two hits and a walk over the final four frames in scoreless relief.
The series continues Saturday afternoon at 2:00 pm. Keep track of any additional weather-related schedule changes on social media through Twitter using the handle, @catamounts.