Myrtle Beach, S.C. - Junior infielder Caleb Robinson collected four hits including a double while redshirt sophomore Matthew Koehler belted his first career home run as a part of a three-hit, five-RBI performance as Western Carolina powered past North Carolina A&T, 16-7, on Sunday afternoon at TicketReturn.com Field at Pelican's Park.
The Catamounts exploded for a 10-run second inning, overcoming an early two-run deficit to claim its tournament finale in the Caravelle Resort's "Baseball at the Beach."
Robinson led six Catamounts with multi-hit games with a 4-for-5 performance including three singles and a double, both driving in and scoring two runs in the win. Koehler finished 3-for-6 with two singles and a towering three-run home run that cleared the wall in right field to put an exclamation point on the 10-run second inning.
Redshirt senior Bryson Bowman also homered for WCU in a 2-for-3 outing with an RBI, reaching base five times while adding a pair of walks and an HBP. Senior Nobu Suzuki recorded a 2-for-3 performance with a triple and three RBI while Pierce Suttles, who earned the start as the designated hitter, went 2-for-3 with a RBI Suzuki also drew a walk and was plunked to reach four times in the winning effort.
On the mound, senior RHP B.J. Nobles (1-0) battled through eight innings, allowing seven runs while scattering nine hits. The Raleigh, N.C., product struck out seven without issuing a free pass to secure his eighth career victory. Junior transfer Jacob Breakfield tossed the final inning of scoreless, one-hit relief allowing one walk.
After falling behind 2-0 in the top of the first inning, Western Carolina (2-1) responded in the home half of the inning to knot the game after one. Bowman lifted a two-out home run over the fence in right field to put the Purple & Gold on the board with the first of four-consecutive Catamount base hits. Matt Smith singled up the middle before Robinson and Suttles likewise tallied base knocks, the fourth driving home Smith to tie the game.
WCU then broke the game open in the bottom of the second inning, sending 12 batters to the plate in scoring 10 runs on seven hits and capitalizing on an Aggie error. Suzuki tripled to drive in the first run with Koehler pushing four across with a single and his three-run homer. Robinson also tallied a pair of RBI during the rally.
The Catamount advantage remained at 10 until the fifth inning. The Aggies recorded five-consecutive base hits to start the inning including a double by Milton Rivera and a two-run scoring single by Adan Ordonez to cut the WCU lead in half, 12-6, through five. Another marker in the top of the seventh on a lead-off home run by Myles Sowell pulled N.C. A&T to within five, 12-7.
However, the Catamounts tacked on four insurance runs in the bottom of the eighth inning including Koehler's fifth RBI and a two-RBI triple by Brett Pope to provide the final tally.
Outfielders Sowell and Greg White posted two-hits apiece for the Aggies with Ordonez and Camden Williamson posting two RBI apiece for North Carolina A&T.
Eight different Aggie pitchers toed the rubber on Sunday afternoon with starter Jonah Owenby taking the loss after allowing seven runs -- six of which were earned -- on seven hits with a walk and a strikeout.
Western Carolina returns to action on Wednesday afternoon as it travels to Doug Kingsmore Stadium in Clemson, S.C., to face the Tigers. Clemson (1-2) dropped 2-of-3 to Wright State at home in its season-opening weekend. First pitch is scheduled for 4:00 pm with a live video stream available online through the ACC Digital Network.