Feb. 22, 2014
Pullman, Wash. - Jeremy Null struck out six batters in seven innings of work and Jacob Hoyle matched a career-high with five RBI as Western Carolina cruised to a series-opening victory over Washington State, 13-1, on Friday night at Bailey-Brayton Field. WCU posted four multi-run innings including a five-run sixth to pick-up its second road win of the season.
Game two of the four-game series is scheduled for 2:00 pm PT / 5:00 pm ET. WCU senior RHP Jordan Smith is slated to square-off against right-hander Tanner Chelborad.
Null (2-0) kept the Cougars scoreless through 6.2 innings of the seven he worked on Friday evening before surrendering his first run of the 2014 season. The Claremont, N.C., native scattered five hits with one walk before giving way to redshirt freshman reliever Dillon Bray. A first-year reliever who missed last season due to injury, Bray struck out two in two innings of work out of the bullpen.
Senior Dykota Spiess led four Catamount hitters with multiple-hit games, finishing 4-for-4 with a double and two RBI. The Morganton, N.C., native also walked once and was plunked by a pitch, reaching in all six trips to the plate. Senior Adam Martin (2-for-4), junior Jacob Hoyle (2-for-6) and freshman Matt Smith (2-for-5) collected two hits apiece for WCU in the winning effort. Cody Jones and Reece Strong both recorded two walks apiece.
Western Carolina (3-2) took a lead it would never relinquish in the top half of the second inning as Spiess, who drew a one-out walk, scampered home to score on a wild pitch. Then, with Reece Strong and Matt Smith aboard, Jones doubled down the left field line to bring a pair of runs home for the 3-0 lead.
The Catamounts added five runs in the top of the sixth inning, spurred by Hoyle's bases loaded, three-run double to left center field.
Both teams would push runs across in the seventh inning. Hoyle recorded his fourth and fifth RBI of the game on a sharp single to right field while Martin just missed his first round-tripper of the season with a long sacrifice fly to left to score a run on the tag-up. Washington State used a one-out Jason Monda double to center and a single deep up the middle by Ian Sagdal to light the scoreboard for a run in the home portion of the seventh inning.
The Catamounts capped scoring with two runs in the top of the ninth as Spiess lifted a two-run scoring double down the left field line making it 13-1.
Despite the offensive explosion, the Catamounts stranded 13 base runners in the win while WSU stranded eight.
Six different Cougars combined for Washington State's six hits in the loss with Monda and defensive replacement Patrick McGrath both recording doubles. Cougar starter Scott Simon (0-2) took the loss after allowing three earned runs on five hits, walking three and striking out two.