Cullowhee, N.C. - Western Carolina erased an early three-run deficit with six runs between the second and third frames on Sunday afternoon, but could not slow UL-Monroe's offense as the Warhawks claimed the rubber match -- and the series -- with a 16-10 victory over the Catamounts at Childress Field / Hennon Stadium.
ULM (3-3) pounded out 19 hits in scoring their season-high of 16 runs to claim game three. The Warhawks won the opener on Friday, 11-7, before WCU picked up its first win of the year with a 15-7 win on Saturday.
Five Catamounts collected two-hit games on Sunday afternoon with sophomore Spencer Holcomb doubling as a part of his 2-for-3 performance and senior Danny Bermudez belting his second solo home run of the season in a 2-for-5 showing. Senior Garrett Brown finished 2-for-4 with a double and a pair of RBI while Bryson Bowman also drove in two on a pair of sacrifice flies.
On the mound, junior RHP Korey Anderson (0-1) was saddled with the loss in his first start of the year. The Grayson, Ga., native surrendered eight runs on eight hits with four strikeouts, countering three walks in 3.2 innings. WCU used a combined eight pitchers with junior B.J. Nobles tossing two-plus innings with a pair of strikeouts while freshman Tristan Baker saw his first collegiate action, fanning two in an inning and two-thirds of scoreless, three-hit relief.
ULM struck first with three-straight hits to open the game including a pair of doubles in the top of the first. The Warhawks grabbed a 2-0 lead after one, stretching it to three in the visitor's portion of the second.
As was the case most of the weekend, the big inning was the order of the day as WCU counter-punched with a four-spot in the home half of the second inning. Bowman's sacrifice fly to right put the Catamounts on the board before Brown tallied two RBI after legging out a double up the middle with a third run scoring on a fielding error by ULM on the same play.
Bermudez led-off the third with a solo blast that cleared the centerfield batter's eye before a second Bowman sac-fly gave the Catamounts a 6-3 edge after three.
The Warhawks regained the lead for good with a five-run top of the fourth inning, capitalizing a pair of home runs including a two-run shot by Cade Stone and a three-run blast by DH Spencer Hemphill. WCU answered with a single run in the home half of the fourth only to see it erased by a ULM marker in the top of the fifth.
Both teams pushed across three runs in the seventh inning to make it 12-10 through seven innings of play. WCU got a sacrifice fly by Ferrell and a RBI single by Holcombe during its home half rally. ULM put the game out of reach with four insurance runs over the eighth and ninth innings while facing just one over the minimum defensively as Brown collected the lone Catamount hit over the last two plate appearances.
For ULM, senior Stone capped a solid weekend series with a game-high 4-for-6 performance at the plate, both scoring and driving in three runs. Stone finished a triple shy of the cycle, belting a two-run homer as ULM collected a pair of round-trippers. Shortstop Nathan Reynolds recorded three hits while Hemphill paced the team with four RBI, three coming on his fourth-inning homer.
Reliever Ethan Daily (1-1), making his second appearance out of the bullpen in the series, earned the victory after tossing an inning after starter Chris Hunt. WCU chased Hunt, who was seeing his first action since the 2014 season, after three innings of work where the right-hander allowed six runs -- five earned -- on four hits with three strikeouts and a pair of walks. ULM used a total of six pitchers including Herrera who vacated second base to take the mound for an inning and a third of relief.
Western Carolina (1-5) continues its home-opening, five-game home stand on Tuesday by hosting Niagara for two mid-week nonconference games. First pitch both Tuesday and Wednesday is scheduled for 4:00 pm.