Cullowhee, N.C. - Caleb Robinson and Garrett Brown led seven Catamounts with multi-hit games, both with four-hit outings as Western Carolina bounced back on Wednesday night, upending visiting ACC-foe, Virginia Tech, 14-10, in midweek nonconference action at Childress Field / Hennon Stadium. The two teams combined for 24 runs and 38 base hits -- 19 apiece -- in the first meeting on the baseball diamond since 2002.
Robinson reached base all five times he stepped to the plate on Wednesday, finishing 4-for-4 with two doubles, a walk and two RBI, while Brown posted a 4-for-6 outing with a triple, three runs driven in and added his 24th stolen base in the win, halting WCU's four-game midweek losing skid.
Junior Matt Smith extended his current hitting streak to 15-straight with a 2-for-4 showing offensively with a double, both driving in and scoring two runs. Smith was one of five Catamounts to record two-hit games. Senior Danny Bermudez finished 2-for-2 with three RBI, plating WCU's first run on a sacrifice fly with a RBI double in the fourth and run-scoring single in the fifth inning.
Junior transfer Bryson Bowman finished 2-for-4 while classmate Nobu Suzuki and senior Kramer Ferrell both posted 2-for-5 games. Suzuki reached base safely for the 26th-consecutive game with a first inning single, while Ferrell reached for the 21st-straight game in part to a fifth-inning RBI base knock.
Sophomore Dylan Biumi (2-0) scored the victory as the first reliever out of the bullpen in relief of starter Dillon Bray. Biumi, a native of Cumming, Ga., struck out five in three innings of work, allowing four runs on eight hits. Bray allowed five runs, also surrendering eight hits in his four innings in the starting role.
Junior Korey Anderson struck out one with a hit allowed in an inning of relief, with Corey Sikes and B.J. Nobles both pitching in the ninth. Nobles recorded an inning of hitless, scoreless relief in the non-save situation.
Western Carolina grabbed the early lead on Wednesday, plating a pair of runs on a Bermudez sac fly in the first and an infield RBI single by Brown in the second inning. Virginia Tech responded in the top of the third, evening the game on a two-run single by third baseman Garrett Hudson. The Hokies continued the scoring in the top of the fourth inning, grabbing the lead by hanging a three-spot on the scoreboard with a sac fly by Saige Jenco and a two-RBI single by first baseman Phil Sciretta.
The Catamounts, though, seized control with back-to-back, five-run innings in the home half of the fourth and fifth innings. J.D. Long jumpstarted WCU's attack in the fourth, dropping a single into right center field following a double-play to start the two-out rally. Long was the first of six-straight Catamount batters to reach, scoring on a triple by Brown who also scored on an error on the relay throw to make it a one-run game, 5-4. Suzuki and Bowman reached ahead of back-to-back doubles by Smith and Bermudez which drove home the remaining three runs.
In the fifth, a run-scoring hits from Brown and a two-run single by Suzuki accounted for three of the five markers, while seniors Bermudez and Ferrell accounted for the final two runs of the frame to make it 12-5 through five complete.
Virginia Tech (12-26) battled back with a solo run in the top of the sixth on a base knock by Rahiem Cooper, with three runs scoring in the top of the seventh to make it a three-run game, 12-9. The Hokies got a two-RBI triple by shortstop Ryan Tufts with Jenco plating the third run on a single.
WCU tacked on two insurance runs in the home half of the seventh to reclaim the five-run cushion on Robinson's second double inside the bag down the third-base line to make it 14-9, before the Hokies closed scoring with a run-scoring sacrifice fly by Tufts, collecting his third RBI.
Virginia Tech relief pitcher Andrew McDonald (1-3) suffered the loss in place of starter Joey Sullivan, who tossed the first two innings of four-run, two-hit action. McDonald was tagged for four runs on four hits in an inning and two-thirds. Reliever Ryan Lauria recorded two of the four strikeouts for the Hokies.
Freshman Stevie Mangrum had a career day, collecting his first collegiate extra base hit as a part of a 5-for-5 outing with three runs scored to lead the Hokies. Tufts and Jenco both finished with three base hits, tallying three and two RBI, respectively. Sciretta, Nick Anderson and Matt Dauby each collected two hits apiece for Virginia Tech in the road loss.
First-place Western Carolina (20-16, 10-2 SoCon) returns to league play this weekend with a three-game Southern Conference series against The Citadel that opens Friday evening with an updated 4 pm first pitch at beautiful Riley Park in Charleston, S.C. The SoCon's two most storied programs meet for the 147th time on the baseball diamond to open the series on Friday evening.