Feb. 27, 2013
Cullowhee, N.C. - Western Carolina pushed across five runs on four hits and capitalized on two Longwood errors in the first inning on Wednesday afternoon, snapping a four-game losing skid with an 8-5 victory over the Lancers at Childress Field / Hennon Stadium.
Junior infielder Aaron Attaway led three Catamounts with multi-hit games, legging out a triple and two singles to finish 3-for-5 while sophomore Bradley Strong drove in two on a 2-for-5 showing also with a triple. Tyler White also collected two hits in a 2-for-4 showing including his second double of the year and team-leading 12th RBI.
Making his first start since May 15, 2011, redshirt junior Taylor Sandefur (1-0) set the tone on the mound, posting four scoreless innings after surrendering one run on two hits in the first frame. The Mechanicsville, Va., native worked six innings, limiting the Lancers to four hits and two runs, only one of which was earned. Sandefur struck out four against two walks.
Reliever John McClure gave up three runs on four hits with a walk and strikeout in his WCU debut while Bryce Danielson fanned one against one hit in an inning out of the bullpen. Sophomore Tyler Powell scored his first career save, striking out two in a perfect ninth inning.
Leading off the first inning with a sharp single to left, Austin Neary scored WCU's first run, crossing the plate ahead of Strong's RBI triple to right-center to tie the game at one. Attaway singled to bring Strong home to hand the Catamounts the lead, 2-1. With two aboard, Cody Jones delivered a RBI single to center where ball rolled through his counterpart allowing Bryant Noteboom to score a second run and concluded with Jones at third base.
An infield fielding error - the second miscue by the Lancers in the opening frame - scored Jones to give WCU a 5-1 edge after the first inning.
WCU (4-5) added a run in the fifth as Attaway tripled down the right-field line before being driven home by a single up the middle by White, stretching the margin to five, 6-1. Longwood responded half an inning later as Matt Dickason reached on an infield single before swiping second and advancing to third on a throwing error on his stolen base attempt. A wild pitch allowed Dickason to scamper home.
Consecutive walks to Jones and Danny Bermudez in the home half of the sixth put two aboard where freshman J.D. Long - making his first collegiate start - sacrificed both runners into scoring position. Neary drove in Jones on a sacrifice fly to right field ahead of Strong's second RBI hit of the game giving WCU an 8-2 lead.
The Lancers (3-3) mounted their biggest rally in the top of the eighth inning, scoring three runs to cut WCU's advantage in half. Dickason, who finished 4-for-5 with three runs scored, opened a string of three-straight extra base hits with a triple down the left field line. Alex Owens drove Dickason home with a double to left center and was plated by Brandon Delk's double. Kyri Washington added a fourth extra base hit with a two-out RBI double down the left field line scoring the third run. Yet Danielson got C.J. Roth to ground out, ending the threat.
Owens joined Dickason with a multi-hit game, finishing 2-for-3 with two RBI and a run scored.
Longwood starter Brandon Vick (0-2) suffered the loss after allowing eight runs - only six of which were earned - on eight hits with two strikeouts against a pair of walks.
Western Carolina returns to Childress Field / Hennon Stadium for a three-game nonconference weekend series against the Hofstra Pride (2-6). The two will play a Saturday double-header beginning at Noon on Saturday before a third series meeting on Sunday with a Noon first pitch. Fans can follow Sunday's series finale with live audio (free) and streaming video (subscription) through Catamount All-Access online at CatamountSports.com.