March 4, 2012
CULLOWHEE, N.C. - Six inning doubles by pinch hitter Dale Urquhart and senior Ross Heffley scored five runs in the bottom of the six as the Catamounts wrapped up a three-game series with an 8-4 win against Iona, sweeping the Gaels on a snowy Sunday afternoon in Cullowhee.
Down 3-1 entering the bottom of the sixth inning, Head Coach Bobby Moranda gave freshman Dale Urquhart a chance to pinch hit against Iona's John Narkoski (1-1) with the bases full of Catamounts. Urquhart took advantage of the opportunity by knocking in Bryant Noteboom and Tyler White with a double that dropped between the Iona first baseman and right fielder. With the bases loaded again and two outs, Heffley this time cleared the bases with a double of his own off of the Purple Monster in left field, regaining the lead for the Catamounts.
The Gaels tried to rally in the seventh, picking up a run off a sacrifice fly by Bobby Vitulano, but it would be all the offense Iona could muster. WCU added two additional runs in the eighth off sacrifice flies by Dykota Spiess and Ross Heffley to seal the game in the Catamounts' favor.
Ross Heffley finished 2-for-4 with four RBI in game three. Urquhart - who entered in the sixth - took full advantage of his at bats going 2-for-2 with two RBI.
Freshman starting pitcher Jeremy Null earned his second win of the season going six innings while giving up three runs - all earned - and notched three strike outs on two walks. Preston Hatcher earned his fourth save of the season.
"Today reminded me of growing up in the mid-West," said Head Coach Bobby Moranda. "We had snow games growing up which is why I live in the South. These were tough conditions to play in. We fought through a lot of adversity. (John) Nargoski is the guy that beat Michigan for Iona last week and is a very good pitcher. We had big knocks by (Dale) Urquhart and (Ross) Heffley. I thought (Jeremy) Null struggled, but overcame it. The best thing that he did was to get out of a first inning, bases loaded jam. He settled in and fought through it. He gave us a chance to win while (Preston) Hatcher came in and slammed the door."
The game three win over Iona ended a week in which the Catamounts went 4-0 as WCU won all three against Iona and its midweek game against the No. 8 Georgia Bulldogs. Short stop Aaron Attaway batted .500 on the week with eight hits, including Saturday's five doubles, six RBI, nine runs, three walks and was a perfect 3-for-3 stealing bases. The other half of the middle infield, second baseman Ross Heffley, hit .357 with two doubles, a home run and eight RBI. Heffley also scored three times over the week.
The Catamounts host two mid-week games against Duke (3/6) and East Tennessee State (3/7) this week before traveling to Charleston for their first Southern Conference series of the season against The Citadel (3/9-11). Tickets are still available for the mid-week, non-conference games against Duke and ETSU.