Feb. 24, 2006
DeLand, Fla. -
Western Carolina senior pitcher Brian McCullen struck out a career-high nine, but it was not enough to overcome the Catamounts leaving 19 base runners on base for a 4-3 setback in 13 innings at the hands of South Florida Friday afternoon in the first game of the Stetson Invitational at Melching Field. While Western dropped to 1-2 on the season, both losses have come in extra innings. South Florida improves to 3-5.
In addition to McCullen's work on the mound, South Florida starter, Casey Hudspeth, was impressive as well. A two-time Cape Cod Summer League player who had 169 strikeouts with just 70 walks in his first two years with the Bulls, Hudspeth worked the first seven complete, allowing three hits and two walks with eight strikeouts.
Down 3-0 after seven complete, Western scratched one run across in the top of the eighth, thanks to an RBI single by Blake Murphy, and two in the top of ninth, on RBI singles by Trey McDaniel and Jonathan Greene, to force extra frames.
The Bulls, who dodged bullets as Western left two on base in the 10th, three in the 11th and two in the 12th, started the home half of the 13th with a single by Dexter Butler. After a sacrifice bunt, Butler moved to third on a balk. Joey Angleberger followed with an RBI single to center to end the contest.
Bryan Tupper (0-1) suffered the loss despite walking none and striking out three in 2.1 innings. Jim Cassidy (1-0) got the win, pitching the final 4.0 innings. He allowed four hits and three walks with two strikeouts.
After McCullen allowed the three runs in six innings, Corey Martin, Brandon McDowell, Mike Buda and Greg Holland only allowed two hits and four walks with three strikeouts (all from Holland) over the next five innings combined.
McDaniel and Greene each had two hits for Western, while Strausbaugh scored twice.
The Catamounts will play host team Stetson at 4 pm on Saturday (Feb. 25) before concluding the event with a 1 pm game on Sunday versus reigning Big 10 champion Illinois. Stetson will be broadcasting its game over the internet at: Stetson-WCU Radio Broadcast Link (Saturday), while Sunday's WCU-Illinois game can be followed on Stetson's website via Livestats at: WCU-Illinois Livestats Link (Sunday)