Spartanburg, S.C. - Bryan Sammons and Corey Sikes combined to strike out 15 hitters while the offense scored early-and-often, pulling out to a 13-0 lead through the first four innings as Western Carolina claimed its Southern Conference series against Wofford with a 14-4 victory Saturday afternoon at Russell C. King Field.
The opportunistic Catamounts plated three runs in the opening frame -- scoring in the first inning for the 15th time in its opening 26 games -- before crossing the dish seven times in the third, and scored three more runs in the top of the fourth before the Terriers could get on the board.
All told, the Catamounts collected 16 hits while drawing seven walks and four HBPs.
Junior Bryan Sammons (4-1) was again strong in the starting role for the Purple & Gold, striking out nine batters in 6.0 innings to score the victory. Sammons scattered nine hits and limited the Terriers to just one run, working around five walks and a pair of bases loaded jams to keep Wofford off the scoreboard. Sophomore reliever Corey Sikes fanned a career-high six to earn the three-inning save out of the bullpen, surrendering three runs on four hits.
The two Catamount hurlers combined to strike out 15 batters on Saturday afternoon.
Offensively, six different Catamounts posted multi-hit games, led by junior Matt Smith who finished 3-for-6 with two RBI. Friday night hero, redshirt junior J.D. Long, again had a strong outing with a 2-for-3 performance with a double, driving home three and scoring twice. Sophomore Spencer Holcomb reached four times with a walk and a HBP while tallying two extra base hits. The Pfafftown, N.C., product blasted a solo home run over the fence in straight-away center field and doubled on the day. Redshirt junior Bryson Bowman plated two on a two-run homer in the victory, his team-leading seventh round-tripper of the spring.
Seniors Garrett Brown and Kramer Ferrell both extended their respective hitting streaks -- Brown to 13-straight games with a pair of singles and scoring twice while Ferrell finished 2-for-5 with three RBI, stretching his streak to 11-consecutive. A third senior, catcher Danny Bermudez, also tallied a pair of singles and two runs driven in.
WCU got run-scoring singles from Bermudez and Ferrell -- the latter plating two runs -- in the three-run first inning to set the table for the Catamounts. After a scoreless second, WCU erupted for seven runs in the third as 12 batters came to the plate in the decisive frame. Long opened the scoring with a bases loaded double down the left field line to plate two before eventually scoring on a Bowman walk. Smith singled through the right side to drive home two runs before two more RBI singles by both Bermudez and Ferrell to cap the fireworks.
The Catamounts played long-ball in the top of the fourth inning as Holcomb belted a lead-off solo homer over the fence in center before Bowman connected on his team-leading seventh round-tripper -- a two-run shot over the fence in left center to lead 13-0.
Wofford's Mack Nathanson hit a one-out home run in the bottom of the fourth inning to put the Terriers on the board 13-1. In the bottom of the seventh, Max McDougald tripled home Reed Massey before himself scoring on a wild pitch to make it 13-3 after seven.
Both teams added late-inning runs as WCU got a sacrifice fly RBI by Long to plate Reece Strong with Massey hitting a second Wofford solo home run in the ninth to provide the final tally.
Massey led Wofford with a 3-for-3, two-run outing, coming on as a pinch hitter in the fifth inning. He scored twice and drove home one on the homer. McDougald tripled as both he and Carson Waln finished with two-hits apiece in the loss.
The Terriers finished with 13 hits and had opportunities on Saturday. Wofford had two-or-more runners aboard in five of the first six innings including stranding the bases loaded in both the fifth and sixth, respectively.
Wofford starter Adam Scott (3-3) suffered the loss after being chased in the third inning. The sophomore allowed eight earned runs on five hits, uncharacteristically issuing five walks and plunking two batters in just 2.2 innings of work. Five different relievers toed the rubber on Saturday for the home squad with Chris Sheehan tossing a team-long 3.0 innings of two-hit, scoreless relief while Austin Higginbotham struck out the three batters he faced to match Scott.
The three-game series concludes on Sunday afternoon in Spartanburg, S.C., with first pitch slated for 1:00 pm. WCU starter will be freshman LHP Tristan Baker while Wofford counters with junior RHP Jacob Condra-Bogan. Fans can watch Wofford's production on the SoCon Digital Network (SoConDigitalNetwork.com/WCU) or tune into live streaming audio from the Catamount Sports Network online at CatamountSports.com.