Feb. 19, 2005
Cullowhee, N.C. - Western Carolina got a pair of three-run home runs to defeat Wright State 9-5 in game one of its season-opening doubleheader Saturday afternoon at Childress Field/Hennon Stadium. However, the Raiders, also playing their first games of the 2005 season, rallied for 18 hits, while holding WCU to just four, to take game two versus the Catamounts, 12-0.
In game one, three Western North Carolina natives played key roles in the 9-5 win. Blake Murphy (Waynesville) and Jared Greenwood (Franklin) each delivered three-run home runs, while Waynesville's Caleb McConnell (1-0) picked up the win striking out seven and walking just one. Murphy ended the game by going 2-of-4 at the plate with four RBI, while Greenwood was 2-of-3 with three RBU. Freshman third baseman Nate Hall (Coalfield, Tenn.) also had three hits (3-for-4) with a solo home run in his collegiate debut. McConnell only allowed five hits and two runs in his 6.0 innings.
Western Carolina jumped out to an early 3-0 lead in the bottom of the first. After leadoff hitter Tim Hallam walked, the Catamount runners on first and second when Chris Davis reached on a fielder's choice. Last year's Southern Conference home run champion Greenwood picked up where he left off, delivering a three-run homer to right.
In the top of the third, Wright State trimmed its deficit to one (3-2). With one out, Travis Migliorini tripled to center and, after a strikeout, scored on a Paul Majestic single to center. Back-to-back singles through the left side by Amin Abusaleh and Bryan Vickers brought home Migliorini. The Raiders would load the bases before McConnell got a fly out to end the threat.
Hall padded the Catamounts lead in the bottom of the seventh with a leadoff home run to left.
A ninth-inning rally by the Raiders came up short, scoring three runs on four hits to make the final 9-5. Justin Wilson and Chris Coleman each singled and scored on a Migliorini double to left-center field.. Ross Oeder capped the scoring with an RBI double down the right field line.
Chris Snyder (0-1) took the loss in game one for Wright State. He allowed six runs (five earned) on three hits and four walks.
In game two, Majestic and Migliorini each had three hits for Wright State in the win, while five others added two hits a piece. However, it was junior college transfer pitcher Robert Barrett (1-0) who led the Raiders. The right hander only allowed four hits and two walk, while fanning six in 6.1 innings. It marked the first time Wright State had ever shutout Western Carolina (in this the 40th all-time meeting) and just the ninth win for the Raiders.
Catamount freshman starter Jon Kibler (0-1) suffered the loss, allowing five hits and three runs in 3.0 innings pitched.
Brian Shoup singled, stole second and moved to third on a Majestic single to center. Ross Vagedes grounded out to the pitcher, allowing Shoup to score and give Wright State an early 1-0 lead. The Raiders padded their advantage with two runs in the top of the third. Wilson had a two-out bunt single and stole second. Abusaleh followed with an infield single. On the attempted play at first, the throw from shotstop got away, allowing Wilson to score and Abusaleh to move to second. Bryan Vickers plated Abusaleh with a single to left.
In the top of the fourth, the Raiders piled on four more runs thanks to five hits, including a two-run single by Migliorini. Wright State added three runs in the fifth and two in the sixth to provide the 12-0 final. In the fifth, highlights for WSU included doubles by Vickers and Majestic, as well as a triple by Vegedes. In the sixth, Majestic had a two-run single, scoring Abusaleh and pinch runner Matt Harris.
Western Carolina and Wright State will conclude the three-game series with a single game on Sunday (Feb. 20). First pitch is set for 1 pm at Childress Field/Hennon Stadium.