Wilmington, N.C. - Senior Garrett Brown belted his first career home run on Saturday afternoon, tying Western Carolina's second game of the Buffalo Wild Wings "Battle at the Beach" at one in the home half of the sixth inning. However, the Richmond Spiders plated a pair of eighth-inning runs to deny the Catamounts their first seasonal victory, downing WCU, 3-1, at Brooks Field.
Western Carolina (0-2) concludes play in the Buffalo Wild Wings "Battle at the Beach," on Sunday morning against the defending Big East champion, St. John's (0-2). The Red Storm dropped its opener on Friday against Richmond, 14-10, before falling to UNC Wilmington, 16-1, on Saturday.
Coverage through live stats is available through UNCWSports.com and linked at CatamountSports.com.
Trailing 1-0 after a Spider solo home run in the second inning, Brown pulled the Catamounts even on the first pitch of the sixth inning. The Asheville, N.C., native homered over the fence in right field, recording his first career round-tripper. It was also the first homer of the season for WCU.
Richmond (2-0) pulled in front in the top of the eighth inning as with a runner on second base, first baseman Doug Kraeger tripled down the right field line to plate the go-ahead run. The next batter, Kurtis Brown, singled up the middle to bring Kraeger home for the two-run advantage.
The Catamounts threatened in the home half of the frame as junior Nobu Suzuki delivered a one-out, pinch-hit double to left field. However, he was stranded at third base. Then, after a 1-2-3 inning in the top of the ninth, WCU again put runners aboard in the end of the ninth. Senior Danny Bermudez tallied a one-out infield single before sophomore Brett Pope singled to left two batters later.
Despite having the game-tying markers aboard, WCU was unable to get the equalizing runs home, suffering their second-straight defeat.
Brown and Smith paced the Catamounts offensively with two-hits apiece as WCU finished with a combined eight hits. The duo both went 2-for-4 on the day. Suzuki posted the squad's only other extra base hit with his double.
Pitching in his hometown of Wilmington, junior Bryan Sammons was solid in his season debut. The left-hander scattered six hits -- only one of which for extra bases -- over seven innings, allowing just one run. Sammons struck out six against one walk. Redshirt junior Dillon Bray (0-1) was tagged with the loss, surrendering two runs in two-thirds of an inning, with junior B.J. Nobles striking out two in the final inning and a third out of the bullpen.
A pair of Spiders also finished 2-for-4 as both Kraeger and Jansen Fraser -- who homered in the second inning -- collected a pair of base knocks.
Richmond starter Dan Martinson (1-0) picked up the win, holding WCU to one run on five hits through seven innings of work with three strikeouts. Keenan Bartlett, the third Spider pitcher to see action, earned the save, striking out one in the ninth inning.
WCU concludes tournament play on Sunday morning with first pitch slated for 10:00 am.