Mason, Ohio – Western Carolina plays its final nonconference game of the regular season on Tuesday as it faces Eastern Kentucky at beautiful Prasco Park. First pitch is slated for 6:00 pm and admission is free.
Tuesday’s game is scheduled to be broadcast on the Catamount Sports Network with live streaming audio available online at CatamountSports.com.
The Catamounts enter Tuesday’s out-of-conference tilt looking to halt a season-long, eight-game winless drought that includes a pair of two-run losses at league regular season champion, Samford, last weekend. WCU (18-28) has dropped its last two midweek nonconference games since the April 10 neutral field victory over Gardner-Webb – and have lost five-straight against nonconference teams including being swept by eighth-ranked Georgia Tech.
Eastern Kentucky (28-23), the alma mater of WCU 12th-year head coach Bobby Moranda (1986), has won four of its last five overall including winning its last two to take the series at Southeast Missouri State in Ohio Valley Conference play.
Tuesday’s game features two of the top scoring teams in the country. The Colonels rank 21st in the nation, averaging 7.5 runs per game, while WCU is averaging 6.8 runs to rank 50th overall. EKU ranks ninth in the country with an average of 2.45 stolen bases per game, while also sitting inside the top 50 nationally in home runs per game (17th, 1.29) and on-base percentage (0.386, 48th). WCU ranks inside the top 50 in six national statistical categories including double plays per game (3rd, 1.15), doubles per game (21st, 2.20), slugging percentage (32nd, 0.459), triples per game (33rd, 0.35) and scoring. The Catamounts are also just outside the top 50 with an average of 1.00 home runs per game having hit 46 through 46 seasonal games.
Western Carolina leads the all-time series with Eastern Kentucky, 27-12, in a series that dates back to the 1983 season. The Catamounts have won two of the last three, though the Colonels won last year’s meeting, 10-5, in Richmond, Ky. WCU holds the longest consecutive game win streak in the series, claiming seven-straight between 1996 and 2010 including the wildest game in series history – a 24-23, 11-inning Catamount win in Cullowhee in a five-hour marathon game back in 2009. The two teams combined for 47 runs on 47 hits with 12 errors as both teams stranded 25 runners, 18 by the Catamounts alone. WCU tied a school record with 30 base hits including a school-record 7-for-7 effort by Mitchell Hatley.
Located on the campus of Prasco Laboratories in Mason, Ohio just outside of Cincinnati, Prasco Park (www.prascopark.com) and the adjacent all synthetic turf Legacy Field opened in the summer of 2008. The facility, which offers free admission, is home to the Cincinnati Spikes amateur baseball program, and is also the site of several collegiate games and post-season tournaments – most notably the Big East Conference Baseball Tournament (May 23-26).
Following Tuesday’s game, the Catamounts return to the friendly confines of Childress Field / Hennon Stadium to wrap-up the regular season with a three-game Southern Conference series against fellow league standard bearer, The Citadel, in a series that begins Thursday evening.