Feb. 29, 2012
Athens, Ga. - Western Carolina pushed across three runs in the top of the fifth inning to erase a one-run deficit, holding on for a 5-3 victory Wednesday night over eighth-ranked Georgia in nonconference action at Foley Field. The Catamounts capitalized on UGA's lone error and three walks in the top of the frame to halt a three-game slide and hand the Bulldogs its first loss of the season.
Junior left-handed pitcher Adam Curtis pitched a solid 6.2 inning effort for the Catamounts, giving up three runs on six hits. The Arden, N.C., native worked around three walks with a pair of strikeouts in earning his second victory of the season. Georgia pitcher Pete Nagel was saddled up the loss for the Bulldogs.
Western Carolina's win over the nationally-ranked Bulldogs was its first over a ranked opponent since 2009 when the Catamounts defeated the fourth-ranked Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets, 10-9, in Cullowhee on April 22.
The Catamounts (5-3) wasted no time offensively as WCU got on the scoreboard in the top of the first inning. Leadoff batter Aaron Attaway reached on a single on the first pitch of the game. Dakota Spiess followed Attaway with an RBI double to left-centerfield before the Bulldogs would get out of the first.
Georgia would answer in the bottom of the first with an RBI single from left fielder Hunter Cole that would load the bases for the Bulldogs. Curtis and WCU would get out of the inning thanks to a 6-4-3 double play.
Following a scoreless second inning, both teams got back to the scoring column in the third when Catamount senior Ross Heffley belted his first home run of the season, blasting a line drive shot into the hedges over the left field fence.
Georgia (8-1) would again answer, though, as Kyle Farmer lined an RBI double down the right field line to even the game at two after three innings. The Bulldogs added another in the bottom of the fourth thanks to another RBI double, this time by right fielder Peter Verdin, giving the Bulldogs their first and only lead of the game, 3-2.
The Catamounts had their biggest offensive inning of the night in the top of the fifth getting started with right fielder Cody Jones reaching on a fielding error by the Georgia short stop. Georgia loaded the bases by adding two walks to Aaron Attaway and Dykota Spiess with second baseman Ross Heffley coming to the plate. Heffley picked up his second RBI of the night with a single to left field. UGA walked DH Jacob Hoyle to bring in Aaron Attaway. The final run of the game was brought in off a sacrifice fly by Tyler White that scored Dykota Spiess.
The Catamounts had to hold on to a 5-3 lead for the remainder of the game. Three relievers - Jeremy Null, Vance Chavis and Preston Hatcher - pieced together the remainder as Hatcher picked up his second save of the season. Hatcher went 1.2 innings, fanning two while facing five.
WCU returns to the diamond this weekend as the Catamounts welcome Iona for a weekend series set to begin Friday at 4 p.m.