Greenville, S.C. - Junior Korey Anderson struck out a season-high seven and the Catamount offense belted three home runs as Western Carolina claimed Sunday's series finale over Furman, 10-4, at Latham Stadium, snapping the Paladins' six-game Southern Conference win streak. WCU's win handed the Paladins their first loss in league play since April 23.
WCU pulled its seasonal record back even at 23-23 with the victory, and remains in third place in the SoCon standings at 13-8 with three conference games remaining. The Catamounts host league-leader, UNCG, next weekend in Cullowhee.
Anderson (1-2) matched a career-long with seven innings in the start, scattering nine hits while limiting Furman to four runs -- three earned -- to secure his first victory of the season. He gave way to classmate B.J. Nobles who tossed the final two frames of one-hit, scoreless relief out of the bullpen. Nobles fanned three as the Catamounts tallied 10 strikeouts without a walk in the winning effort.
Four Catamounts finished with two-hit games in the series finale. Freshman Andrew Bullock belted his third career home run in a 2-for-2 outing, reaching base three additional times on walks including one intentional. Sophomore Caleb Robinson finished 2-for-3 with a RBI on a sacrifice fly that scored senior Garrett Brown who led off the game with a triple in a 2-for-6, one RBI outing.
Junior Nobu Suzuki collected a pair of singles and his team-leading 11th sacrifice hit with a second inning bunt. Matt Smith hit his 10th home run of the year with a first-inning solo shot that pushed the Catamounts ahead, 2-0, with J.D. Long homering in the second inning to stretch the advantage to three after two complete -- the third-consecutive game that WCU jumped out to early leads in the three-game series.
Furman (22-26, 10-8 SoCon) cut the Catamount advantage to one with two runs in the home half of the third inning as Jabari Richards tripled home Matt Towarnicky to make it 3-2. As it turned out, it was as close as the Paladins would get the remainder of the game.
Following a scoreless middle third of the game, the opportunistic Catamounts capitalized in a four-run seventh inning. Bullock led off the frame with his third career home run, sending a shot over the fence in right center field to stretch WCU's margin back to two, 4-2.
Suzuki singled and moved to second on a throwing error on the same play before scoring on Brown's RBI single up the middle to make it 5-2. Robinson put runners at the corners with a one-out single. The Catamounts ended up scoring two more runs in the inning with runners coming home from third on wild pitches to lead, 7-2.
Furman got two runs back in the seventh with a sacrifice fly by Carter Grote and a RBI double by Jake Crawford to make it 7-4 through seven innings.
WCU loaded the bases in both the eighth and ninth innings, scoring a run on a RBI walk drawn by Long and run-scoring singles by Kramer Ferrell and Suzuki in the ninth to provide the final tally.
Paladin starter Matthew Quarles (5-6), who secured two victories over the Catamounts a season ago, suffered the loss after allowing five runs on seven hits through six innings of work. Quarles walked five and struck out four. Five different Furman relievers combined to toss the final three innings, walking a combined six with a trio of strikeouts.
Richards finished with a game-high three hits in a 3-for-5 outing, while Crawford and Sims Griffith both collected two base hits for the Paladins.
Western Carolina steps out of conference on Wednesday evening as it travels to Athens, Ga., to face the Georgia Bulldogs at Foley Field. Wednesday's game will be broadcast on the SEC Network+, with streaming audio from the Catamount Sports Network available online at CatamountSports.com.