Feb. 21, 2012
Rock Hill, S.C. - Western Carolina scored 10 runs through the first four innings and led by as many as 11, cruising to a 13-3 road victory over Winthrop on Tuesday evening at the Winthrop Ball Park. Seven Catamount pitchers combined for six strikeouts while holding the Eagles to just three runs on only three hits.
The Catamounts improved to 4-0 on the season while Winthrop remained winless through its first four games of the season.
Sophomore Aaron Attaway opened the game with a double to right field on the game's first pitch to set the tone on the afternoon. The Morganton, N.C., native finished 4-for-6 with three RBI to lead WCU offensively. Freshman Jacob Hoyle and sophomore Adam Martin both homered, finishing 3-for-9 combined with Hoyle driving in three including a two-run, round-tripper.
Senior Ross Heffley also recorded three hits - all singles - in a 3-for-4 performance.
While the offense set the tone in the top of the frames, the Catamount pitchers followed suit. Junior left-hander Adam Curtis shut down the Eagles early, tossing five innings of one-hit, scoreless baseball in the starting role. The Arden, N.C., native struck out three against just one walk in picking up his first victory of the season. Six Catamount relievers toed the rubber on the day, matching Curtis' three strikeouts on the day.
Leading 1-0 after one, the Catamounts pushed across five runs in the top-half of the second inning to break the game open. Bryant Noteboom drew a one-out walk and was moved to second on a single to right field by Julian Ridings. Attaway drove in his first run on a single, scoring Noteboom, with a balk brining Ridings home for a 3-0 advantage. Heffley delivered an RBI single to left ahead of Hoyle who blasted his second home run of the season, a two-run shot to right center field.
In the third, Adam Martin jumped all over the first pitch he saw, drilling a line-drive home run over the fence in left for a 7-0 lead. Tyler White cross the plate with the eighth run of the game after doubling with Attaway driving him home on a single to right field.
An inning later, a two-out rally plated a pair of runs for the Catamounts, staking the visitors to a 10-run lead through four frames.
Winthrop scratched the scoreboard for the first time in the sixth inning as a walk and an error put two aboard ahead of Patrick Gramblin who doubled to right field to trim the Catamount advantage to eight, 10-2. However, the Catamounts would tack on a three-spot in the top of the seventh inning as Hoyle doubled to right-center with the third of four-straight WCU hits with Dykota Spiess delivering a single to both drive in runs. Martin bounced into a double-play, but managed to drive home a third-run to had the Catamounts an 11-run lead, 13-2.
The Eagles capped scoring in the eighth as Gamblin homered to left to provide the final tally, 13-3.
Gamblin finished with two of the Eagles three hits including a two-RBI double and a solo home run, driving in all three runs. Mitchell Knox took the loss for Winthrop after being chased after two innings, surrendering seven runs - six of which were earned - on six hits with two walks.
Western Carolina travels to the Ninth-Annual Keith LeClair Classic hosted by East Carolina this weekend in Greenville, N.C. The Catamounts face Maryland on Friday afternoon before battling the host Pirates on Saturday and Purdue on Sunday morning to conclude the three-game tournament.