Feb. 23, 2013
Greenville, S.C. -
Western Carolina capitalized on an error in the bottom of the ninth inning to tie the game at two as pinch runner J.D. Long scored from third as the Redhawks fumbled one along the infield off the bat of Danny Bermudez. However, a two-base error in the outfield on a single in the top of the 10th ultimately resulted in the game-winning run as Miami (Ohio) upended WCU, 3-2, in 10 innings Saturday afternoon at Fluor Field.
In the top of the 10th inning, MU's Matt Packer singled to center field but ended the play on third base as the ball rolled past WCU centerfielder Cody Jones. The next batter, catcher Max Andersen, then sharply singled through the right side to push home the eventual game-winning run.
Andersen finished 2-for-4 with a pair of singles and drove in all three Redhawks runs.
For a second-straight day, Western Carolina (3-3) lit the scoreboard in the first inning but was unable to add to the advantage. Senior Tyler White blasted a two-out home run over the fence in left center to hand the Catamounts a 1-0 lead after one. The round-tripper was the third of the season for White who also leads WCU with nine RBI.
WCU's lead stood until the top half of the seventh inning when Andersen struck first, driving in two runs on a single to right field. With runners at the corners and two outs, Miami attempted a double-steal, moving Packer off of first but not drawing a throw from the Catamounts to keep the tying run at third. On the sixth pitch of his at bat, Andersen hit one to right that allowed both runners to come to the plate, chasing WCU starter Jordan Smith.
lifted a one-out double down the right field line to open the home half of the ninth with the Catamounts trailing by a run. Long came on to pinch run for Martin, who played left field on Saturday, and was moved to third on a ground out by Bradley Strong
. Down to their final out, the Catamounts took advantage of a fielding error off the bat of Bermudez to allow Long to scamper home, knotting the game at two and setting up the finish.
The Catamounts missed a golden opportunity to seize control of the game in the bottom of the eighth inning. Dykota Spiess singled to open the frame where he was sacrificed over by Luke Gragg. Aaron Attaway then laced a one-out single to left center and took second on the throw to third base to runners at second and third. White was intentionally walked to load the bases ahead of Jacob Hoyle who lifted the first pitch of his at bat to left field. Spiess tagged from third and scored, but a throw behind the play ruled that he had left the bag early resulting in the third out of the frame, stranding two runners.
WCU also had a good scoring chance in the fourth, putting runners at second and third with two outs but could not find the timely hit that would allow the club to stretch the advantage.
Martin was one of three Catamounts to post a multiple hit game, going 2-for-4 with the double. Aaron Attaway led the team with a 3-for-5 showing while Spiess was 2-for-4. White finished 1-for-4 on the day with the homer and the free pass.
Neither starter factored in the decision as Smith worked six and two-thirds innings, allowing two runs on five hits with three strikeouts against a pair of walks. Miami (Ohio) starter Mac Thoreson tossed seven frames, scattering six hits with three strikeouts and limiting WCU to the one run on the homer by White.
Redhawk reliever Ryan Powers (1-0) scored the victory, pitching two and a third in relief with a pair of K's, while Brandon Adkins earned the save, retiring the final two Catamounts in the home half of the 10th inning.
WCU's Preston Hatcher was saddled with the loss, surrendering the unearned game-winning run off two hits, pitching one inning of relief. Hunter Brister tossed a third of an inning, striking out the one batter he faced while Tyler Powell fanned three in two innings of hitless, scoreless relief.
Western Carolina concludes play in the First Pitch Invitational at Fluor Field on Sunday afternoon by facing Cincinnati. First pitch is scheduled for 3:00 pm.