March 6, 2004
Cullowhee, N.C. - With two outs and two strikes in the bottom ninth, WCU senior second baseman Todd Roper delivered an RBI double to lift the Catamounts to a 12-11 victory over Miami (Ohio) in game one of a Saturday afternoon doubleheader at Childress Field/Hennon Stadium.
Mike McGowan drew a two-out walk and was lifted for pinch runner Brandon Zollman, Roper, who just missed a double down the line to make the count 2-2, found the left-center field gap, allowing Zollman to come all the way around.
Miami jumped out to an early 2-0 lead, scoring two runs in the top of the second. Geoff Orr led off the second by being hit by a pitch. Brian Canada followed with a single to right and Ryne Robinson put runners on second and third with a sacrifice bunt. Shortstop Courtney Campbell plated the Orr and Canada with a single to left.
The Catamounts answered in the bottom half. Leadoff hitter Alex Gary hit his third home run of the season, cutting the deficit to 2-1.
In the third, the RedHawks increased their lead to 3-1. Mike Ferris delivered a one-out double, moved to second when Ryan Edginton walked and scored on an Orr single through the left side.
Western took advantage of a two-out Miami error to make the score 3-2 in the bottom of the third. With two outs, Matt Nelson reached on a fielding error by the pitcher. On the next pitch, Chris Davis doubled to left-center to score Nelson.
Miami used two bunt singles, a sacrifice bunt and a sacrifice fly to manufacture a run in the top of the fourth. Campbell and Jason Brown had back-to-back bunt singles. After a sac bunt, Paul Frietch drove in Campbell with a sac fly to center. Ferris followed with a two-out, two-run home run to center, making the score 6-2.
In the bottom of the sixth and with one on and two out, Gary hit his second home run of the game to make the score 6-4. After a double by Blake Murphy, Chad McKown hit a two-run home run to tie the game at 6-6. Todd Roper gave Western's its first lead, 7-6, with a solo shot to left, giving the senior his second homer of the season and of his career.
Western lead was short lived. In the top of the seventh, Miami loaded the bases thanks to two walks and a single. Pinch hitter San Sellery delivered a two-out, three run double down the right field line and moved to third on the throw. Pinch runner Brandon Hillier then scored on a wild pitch, making the score 10-7.
The Catamounts trimmed their deficit to one, 10-9, in the bottom of the seventh. Western loaded the bases and Gary chased RedHawks starting pitcher Graham Taylor with a two-run double to right.
In the eighth, Edginton guided a two-out, two-strike pitch through the left side to plate John Slone, giving Miami an 11-9 lead. However, after a leadoff single by Wayne Kilmer in the bottom of the eighth, Chris Davis hit a one-out, two-run homer to tie the game at 11-11.
For the Cats, Gary finished game one by going 4-for-5 with five RBI. Davis also went 4-for-5, driving in three. Derrick Hawk (1-1) was credited with the win, pitching the final 2.1 innings. He allowed three hits and two runs, but only walked one and struck out five. Brad Josey started for WCU and pitched 6.1 innings, allowing 11 hits and eight runs.
For the RedHawks, Brown, Slone, Ferris, Edginton, Orr and Campbell each had two hits, with Sellery driving in three in his only plate appearance. Relief pitcher Matt Long (1-1) suffered the loss, allowing five hits, three runs and one walk in 2.2 innings.