March 6, 2012
Cullowhee, N.C. - Ross Heffley reached base five times including four singles that led to four runs scored while Jacob Hoyle drove in five as Western Carolina surged past the Duke Blue Devils, 12-4, Tuesday afternoon in midweek nonconference action at Childress Field / Hennon Stadium.
The win was the fifth-straight for the Catamounts and the first over a team from the Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) since upsetting No. 16 Clemson, 7-5, back on April 14, 2010.
Junior starter Adam Curtis (3-0) worked a career-long seven innings in the starting role to remain perfect on the season, scattering two runs on six hits with five strikeouts against only one walk. Jeremy Sluder tossed the final two innings in relief, surrendering two runs on two hits with a pair of walks, fanning one.
Western Carolina (9-3) manufactured two runs in the bottom of the first inning to take the early lead over the Blue Devils. Aaron Attaway scored the game's first run after leading off the inning with a first-pitch single to straight away center field. He scored on a throwing error as Duke tried to roll a double-play on the infield. Tyler White's ground ball out to first drove in the second run.
Two innings later, consecutive walks to Dykota Spiess and Heffley put two aboard for Hoyle who laced his first of two doubles to right center, scoring both runners for the four-run edge.
Duke (7-7) got on the board in the top half of the fifth inning as Mike Rosenfeld singled home David Perkins to end the shutout. Andrew Istler then plated Rosenfeld on a single up the middle to cut the WCU lead in half, 4-2.
However, in the bottom of the fifth inning, Western Carolina scored four runs to stretch its lead back to six. Three-consecutive singles by Spiess, Heffley and one of the RBI variety for Hoyle scored the first run. Hoyle later scored from third on a wild pitch before Cody Jones delivered two-run single to left center that brought both Adam Martin and White home.
The Catamounts added an insurance run in the sixth on a White RBI single up the middle.
Duke attempted an eighth-inning rally, scoring a pair of two-out runs on just one hit. The Blue Devils took advantage of a pair of walks with David Perkins delivering a two-RBI double. However, the Catamounts responded by tacking on three more in the bottom of the frame to provide the final tally. Hoyle belted his second double of the game to score one while White and Martin both hit sacrifice flies to plate the second run.
White finished 1-for-3 with two RBI while Cody Jones drove in a pair on a two-hit afternoon.
For Duke, Perkins finished 2-for-4 with a pair of RBI. Rosenfeld and Andrew Istler both plating a pair of runs in the loss. Starting pitcher Chase Debout (0-2) was saddled with the loss after allowing seven runs on eight hits through four and a third innings. He struck out two, but issued five walks in the losing effort.
Western Carolina hosts East Tennessee State at 4:00 pm at Childress Field / Hennon Stadium.
WCU to Honor Catamount Men's Basketball Team on Wednesday Afternoon:Western Carolina will recognize and honor its men's basketball team on Wednesday afternoon prior to the first pitch against the Buccaneers of East Tennessee State. The Catamounts won three-games in three-days to advance to the SoCon title game on Monday night. Trailing by 13 points with 2:47 remaining, WCU rallied to knot the game and forced two overtime sessions before falling by two, 93-91.
Head coach Larry Hunter will toss out the first pitch on Wednesday afternoon at Childress Field / Hennon Stadium.