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Freshmen Pitchers Lead Catamounts Past SIU-Edwardsville, 6-0

March 9, 2010

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Cullowhee, N.C. - Three Western Carolina freshmen pitchers made impressive debuts as they combined to shutdown Southern Illinois-Edwardsville, 6-0, in game one of a two-game series at Childress Field /Hennon Stadium. The victory gave Western Carolina their second shutout of the year as WCU improved to 9-2 overall.

The Catamounts tallied two runs each in the first and fourth innings to open up the gap before tacking on two more runs in the sixth and seventh. The WCU pitching staff held the Cougars to just four hits in the contest , as SIUE fell to 2-9 on the season.

Left-hander Mat Batts (1-0) made his first career start after pitching a pre-determined three innings. The hurler got into a bases- loaded jam with no outs in the first inning before retiring the next three Cougars in order. Batts allowed two hits with two walks and four strikeouts in three innings pitched in the victory.

Freshmen TJ Page and Preston Hatcher picked up the next four innings, allowing just one combined hit with a total of three strikeouts.

Sophomore Ross Heffley collected a pair of singles and drove in three runs to lead the Catamount offense. Heffley's hit up the middle in the first inning, drove in Cameron Dullnig and Dylan de Graaf to give WCU the early, 2-0, lead. The Snellville, Ga., native earned his third RBI of the day with a walk in the seventh inning, allowing de Graaf to steal home for WCU's sixth run of the game.

Dullnig finished the afternoon a perfect 3-for-3, scoring a run and reaching on base with a walk. de Graaf ended the contest with two runs scored, a hit and a walk.

Catcher Ollie Goulder hammered his third home run of the season with a moon shot to left field in the fourth inning to extend the Catamounts advantage to 4-0. Goulder led off the sixth inning with a triple to deep center field. The three-bagger was the first of the season for a Catamount batter. Overall, Goulder paced the afternoon with a 2-for-4 performance, tallying two runs and two RBI.

Freshman Cory Cronan earned his first start in right field and collected an RBI double in the sixth inning to drive in Goulder.

Catamount pitchers Matt Benedict and Andrew Blackwell held the Cougars to just one hit in the final two innings of the contest.

SIUE's Tony Schaeffer (0-1) was hooked with the loss after giving up five runs on eight hits with three walks and three strikeouts. Center fielder Adam Eggemyer led the Cougars with a 2-for-4 afternoon.

Game two of the mid-week contest will begin tomorrow at 4:00 p.m. Live coverage of the game can be found online through GameTracker at