March 7, 2012
Cullowhee, N.C. - Four Catamount batters recorded two-hit outings as Western Carolina pounded out 11 hits en route to claiming its sixth-straight victory, defeating East Tennessee State 7-3 Wednesday afternoon in nonconference action at Childress Field / Hennon Stadium.
Starting pitcher Jon Nadale (1-1) scored his first win for the Catamounts, scattering six hits over six innings while striking out six in his first start. The Petaloma, Calif., native limited the Buccaneers to just two runs without issuing a walk. Freshman Tyler Powell worked two and a third innings of relief with a strikeout while Preston Hatcher picked up his fourth save of the season by working the final two thirds of the ninth, recording a strikeout.
Senior Ross Heffley, junior Bryant Noteboom and sophomores Cody Jones and Adam Martin all finished with two hits apiece in the win. Noteboom legged out a pair of doubles in the win while Martin homered for WCU's three extra base hits. Martin and Jones both scored twice on the afternoon.
Western Carolina (10-3) opened scoring in the second inning as Martin belted his team-leading third home run of the season. His towering two-run shot over the left field fence came on the first pitch of his at bat and scored Jones who reached on a single.
The Catamounts stretched the advantage to three with a solo run in the fifth as Luke Gragg drove home Jones to give WCU a 3-0 lead.
In the top of the sixth inning, East Tennessee State (6-4) trimmed the Catamount advantage to one with a two-spot. With Clinton Freeman and Dylan Pratt aboard with back-to-back one out singles, leftfielder John Long delivered an RBI single to score Freeman from second base. An error on a ground ball to third allowed Pratt to scamper home from third to make it 3-2, but a ground out to second ended the threat.
WCU answered in the bottom of the frame, matching the Bucs' two runs. Bryant Noteboom opened the inning with a pinch hit double to left field and was moved to third on a single by Heffley. Hoyle lifted a sacrifice fly to center to allow Noteboom to score. Two batters later, Tyler White induced a run-down between first and second base that allowed Heffley to race home to put the Catamounts back ahead to three, 5-2.
The next inning, the Catamounts added two insurance runs Noteboom scored pinch runner Garrett Brown, who was running for Dale Urqhart, and Martin to make it 7-2
East Tennessee scored once in the top of the ninth and threatened with two on with just one out, but Hatcher came on to shut down the rally and score the save.
Western Carolina travels to Charleston, S.C., to open Southern Conference play against The Citadel with a three-game series at Joe Riley Park. First pitch on Friday is scheduled for 6:00 pm with Saturday scheduled for 2:00 pm and 1:00 pm on Sunday afternoon.
All three games will be broadcast on the Catamount Sports Network and can be heard online at www.CatamountSports.com.