March 5, 2013
Athens, Ga. - Senior Bryant Noteboom drove in two runs on a game-high three hits and classmate Tyler White blasted his team-leading fourth home run of the season as Western Carolina claimed its second-straight road win over Georgia, scoring in bunches Tuesday night to upend the Bulldogs 12-7 in midweek nonconference action at Foley Field.
Led by Noteboom, five Catamounts turned in multiple hit games as WCU pounded out a season-high 15 hits against eight different Bulldog pitchers in winning for the third-straight game. WCU scored multiple runs in three separate innings, twice lighting the scoreboard for five runs in a single frame in the victory.
Noteboom finished with a career-best three hits including a double and two singles, scoring a career-high three runs to lead the bottom third of the Catamount lineup to seven of the team's 15 hits. Luke Gragg and Danny Bermudez finished 2-for-4 with in the eight and nine holes while Jacob Hoyle added an RBI on a 2-for-6 outing in the win.
Reliever Hunter Brister (1-0) was credited with the victory as the first arm out of the Catamount bullpen in relief of starter Taylor Sandefur who scattered two hits one unearned run in the two innings of his start and factored in the no-decision. Brister tossed an inning and a third, also allowing two hits with a run while walking and fanning one.
WCU's pitching staff pieced the game together with Danny Schneider tossing and inning and two thirds with a walk and a strikeout, Tyler Powell working around four walks with a punch out in an inning of work with seniors Jon Nadale and Preston Hatcher combining on the final three. Nadale worked two innings of two-hit, scoreless relief while the `Dogs were able to get two runs on three hits off of Hatcher in the ninth before he slammed the door.
For the eighth time this season, Western Carolina (7-6) grabbed an early lead by pushing across runs in the first inning. The Catamounts scratched the scoreboard for five runs on six hits including two run-producing doubles in the top half of the first inning.
Aaron Attaway led off the game with a walk before advancing on a single by Cody Jones to give the Catamounts a pair of base runners early. Then, however, the skies opened up and rain pelted the playing surface creating an hour and 20-minute delay. The pause wasn't enough to cool the Catamount bats, though, as WCU greeted new pitcher Mike Mancuso with a successful sacrifice bunt by Tyler White followed by back-to-back run scoring hits including one by Hoyle and a double by Austin Neary to put the Catamounts on the board.
The long first inning continued as Bradley Strong lifted a sacrifice fly to drive in the third run just ahead of RBI's by Noteboom and Bermudez, the latter coming on a double.
Georgia answered in the bottom of the frame by plating a run to trim the Catamount lead to four, 5-1, as Hunter Cole delivered a sacrifice fly to bring home Curt Powell. After two and a half scoreless frames, the Bulldogs again scored a solo run as Jared Walsh led off with a double before scoring on Nelson Ward's RBI single to center.
The Catamounts got both runs back with a two-spot in the top of the fifth inning to reclaim the five-run cushion. Noteboom legged out an RBI double to left to score Strong from first base with Attaway later driving him home by depositing a single into right field with Noteboom at third.
Georgia (5-7) took advantage of what it was given in the sixth inning. A single, failed pickoff attempt and walk put runners at the corners with nobody out. Powell overthrew one in the dirt with the wild pitch advancing both runners before a second walk of the frame loaded the bases. Georgia would score three runs after loading the bases, capitalizing on an infield RBI ground out, a sacrifice fly and a walk to pull back within a pair, 7-5.
However, the top of the seventh proved to be decisive as WCU scored five times on five hits, all coming with one out. Three-consecutive singles by Noteboom, Gragg and Bermudez scored the first run with a Bulldog error allowing a second run to cross the plate. With Attaway and Cody Jones aboard, White homered to left to account for his lone hit of the night three RBI.
Georgia threatened in the home half of the ninth, scoring twice off three-straight hits including a two-RBI double by Jess Posey, but Hatcher settled won to get a pair of fly ball outs and game-ending ground out.
Jared Walsh led Georgia with a 4-for-5 performance, scoring three runs to lead the Bulldogs. Curt Powell added two hits in a 2-for- 5 showing for the home squad. Bulldog starter David Gonzalez (0-1) was saddled with the loss despite facing just two batters in the first inning, not returning after the initial rain delay.
Western Carolina stays on the road as it opens Southern Conference play with a three-game weekend series at Davidson this Friday through Sunday. The Catamounts took 2-of-3 from the Wildcats a season ago, claiming the three-game regular season series for a 12th-straight time. First pitch on Friday is scheduled for 6:00 pm with a 2:00 pm start Saturday and 1:00 pm first pitch on Sunday afternoon.