March 10, 2010
Cullowhee, N.C. - The top-third of the Catamount lineup combined for eight hits with seven RBI as Western Carolina defeated Southern Illinois-Edwardsville, 12-8, to sweep the mid-week series at Childress Field / Hennon Stadium. WCU managed 14 hits to pick up its second-consecutive victory, while improving to 10-2 on the year for the second-straight season.
Western Carolina took an early 4-0 lead before the Cougars stormed back in the fourth to tie the contest. WCU used a five-run fifth inning to open the margin as SIUE (2-10) dropped their fifth consecutive contest.
Senior Dylan de Graaf led the Catamounts with four hits, four runs scored and two RBI. de Graaf reached on base in all five appearances, scoring a team-high four runs in the lead-off role on Wednesday.
Cameron Dullnig played a critical role in de Graaf's success as the two-hole hitter pounded two doubles for a total of three hits and three RBI against the Cougars. Dullnig, a redshirt sophomore from San Antonio, Texas, also tallied two runs and reached on base with a walk.
Ross Heffley's double to right field in the fifth inning drove in a pair of runs to open a 10-4 margin for the Catamounts. Heffley finished the afternoon 1-for-5 with two RBI.
True freshman Adam Curtis (1-0) earned his first career victory on Wednesday after relieving starter Taylor Sandefur. Curtis, a freshman left-hander from Arden, N.C., pitched two and two-third innings giving up three SIUE runs on six hits with one walk.
Sandefur, a freshman right-hander, received a no-decision after tossing three innings with three unearned runs allowed on three hits.
SIUE notched four runs in the third and fourth innings to tie the contest at 4-4. Matt Johns scored the go-ahead run in the fourth by reaching on base due to an SIUE error. A de Graaf single through the left side drove in the junior from Stafford, Va. Johns hit 1-for-4 with a run scored, and one RBI.
In the fifth inning, WCU batted around the order as the Catamounts put up a five-spot in that frame. The first two Cat batters walked to put SIUE starter Spencer Patton into a jam. Catcher Radley Haddad's single up the middle into center field drove in a run, before Tyler Kirkpatrick added a run, after a throw from the outfield allowed runners to advance. Another pair of singles and a Dullnig double opened the contest and gave Patton the loss for the Cougars.
Patton (0-1) tossed four and a third of an inning, surrendering six earned runs on eight hits with three walks and two strikeouts.
Haddad hit a pair in three at-bats with a run scored and two RBI in the nine spot for the Catamounts. Kirkpatrick finished the afternoon 1-for-3 with two runs and two walks. Kirkpatrick's single in the third inning gave him at least one hit in 11 of the 12 WCU games this season.
Western Carolina used a quartet of pitchers in the final two and two-third innings. Andrew Chilcoat gave up one hit one inning, before Andrew Blackwell surrendered two runs in two-thirds of an inning. Brandon Johnson and Daniel Ottone closed out the final inning and two-thirds, allowing a combined one hit with two strikeouts.
SIUE's Matt Highland led the Cougars with a 3-for-5 afternoon with three RBI.
WCU opens Southern Conference play on the road this weekend at The Citadel in Charleston. Friday's contest will start at 6:00 p.m. at Joseph P. Riley, Jr. Park. Live stats will be provided for this weekend's opening conference series at CatamountSports.com.