Big Innings Lead Western Carolina to Saturday Sweep of Rider

CATAMOUNTSPORTSDOTCOM WCU junior Bradley Strong led the Catamounts in Saturday's doubleheader, collecting six hits with two triples and a double. (Photo courtesy of Danny Hirt)
CATAMOUNTSPORTSDOTCOM
WCU junior Bradley Strong led the Catamounts in Saturday's doubleheader, collecting six hits with two triples and a double. (Photo courtesy of Danny Hirt)
CATAMOUNTSPORTSDOTCOM

March 15, 2014

WCU vs. Rider - Game 1 Box Score |  WCU vs. Rider - Game 2 Box Score |  Photo Gallery 

Cullowhee, N.C. - Western Carolina used a trio of big innings to claim both ends of its nonconference doubleheader, sweeping the Rider Broncs by counts of 23-8 and 11-3 on Saturday at Childress Field / Hennon Stadium.

Between the two games on Saturday, Western Carolina outscored Rider, 34-to-11, and collected a combined 31 base hits with 12 going for extra bases. The Catamounts recorded four doubles, three triples and five home runs, posting RBI on 32 of their 34 runs in completing the three-game series sweep.

WCU (11-7) was opportunistic in the two wins, capitalizing on 12 combined walks and eight hit batters. In the field, the Catamounts took advantage of turning four double plays and recorded 12 strikeouts on the mound.

Western Carolina's offensive explosion was led by senior Adam Martin who finished 5-for-8 with three home runs including a grand slam, driving home 10 runs in the twin bill, eight in game one alone - just one shy of matching( the school single-game record. Martin finished with a .625 batting average and a 1.750 slugging percentage in the win. He also walked three times, twice intentionally put on base with the free pass, and drove in a run on a sacrifice fly.

In addition to Martin's three round-trippers, juniors Jacob Hoyle and Dale Urquhart Jr. also both hit home runs. A third junior, Bradley Strong, collected three extra base hits in a 6-for-10 performance on Saturday, legging out a school-record tying two doubles in the opener and adding a double with three RBI.

All told, 10 different Catamounts recorded an RBI between the two games on Saturday with seven tallying three-or-more.

Game One Recap: Western Carolina 23, Rider 8
Western Carolina plated a school-record 14 inning runs in the bottom of the eighth inning en route to a 23-8 rout of Rider in game one of Saturday afternoon's twin bill at Childress Field / Hennon Stadium.

The first of WCU's three big innings on Saturday came in game one. Holding a 3-1 advantage, the Catamounts plated six runs in the home portion of the sixth inning to grab a 9-1 lead. The frame was highlighted by a grand slam home run by Adam Martin, his second of two long balls in the opener.

Rider tacked on two runs in the top of both the seventh and eighth to make it a four-run game, 9-5, heading into the eighth. However, 19 batters came to the plate in the eighth as WCU batted around twice to take the commanding lead. Five different Catamounts were hit a combined six times with Bradley Strong plunked twice, while five walks were issued to aid the rally.

Rider's Justin Thomas hit a three-run home run in the top of the ninth to provide the final tally.

Freshman Bryan Sammons (4-1) picked up the victory as WCU threw five different pitchers. Sammons struck out six against four walks through six innings, limiting Rider to one run on just two hits. Senior John McClure tossed two thirds of an inning with Korey Anderson facing two batters in a third of an inning in relief. Jonathan Waszak and Taylor Durand both tossed an inning to close out the game for the Catamounts.

Rider starter Zach Mawson (1-3) took the loss after allowing just three earned runs on five hits with six strikeouts and three walks.

Game Two Recap: Western Carolina 11, Rider 3
Adam Martin and Jacob Hoyle belted back-to-back home runs in the bottom of the first inning to lead WCU to a 3-0 lead it would never relinquish, pulling away for an 11-3 victory over Rider in the night cap to complete the doubleheader and series sweep.

Much like the two previous games in the series, the finale was close through the first six frames. After WCU climbed on top, 3-0, Rider tallied a run on a sacrifice fly by Justin Thomas in the third to trim the margin to two, 3-1. In the bottom of the frame, the Catamounts managed to get the run back as Dykota Spiess tallied his second RBI of the game with a single to right center, driving home Bradley Strong to reclaim the three-run, 4-1, edge.

Nick Crescenzo homered in the sixth to again make it a two-run, 4-2, ball game entering the seventh.

Western Carolina sent 10 batters to the plate in the decisive seventh frame. Aaron Attaway started the one-out rally with a triple to left center field before Martin collected his second RBI of the game on a single into right field. Hoyle drove in another run on a sacrifice fly in the inning with Danny Bermudez scoring two on a double before Dale Urquhart Jr. homered to plate two more runs and the 11-2 margin.

The Broncs would drive in a run in the ninth on a bases loaded walk to provide the final score.

Senior Jordan Smith (2-2) evened his overall season record, scattering nine hits through seven innings while holding Rider to just two earned runs. The Liberty, N.C., native struck out four without issuing a walk. Classmate T.J. Fussell allowed one hit in an inning of work, but induced a double-play ball to erase the runner while freshman B.J. Nobles tallied his first career strikeouts, fanning two against three walks and allowing one run on one hit in an inning to finish the game.

Kyle Kennett (0-2) took the loss for Rider, giving up five earned runs on 11 hits with two strikeouts and one walk in 6.1 innings.

Western Carolina concludes its current four-game home stand by hosting former - and future - SoCon foe, East Tennessee State, on Wednesday, March 19 in the front-end of a home-and-home. First pitch at Childress Field / Hennon Stadium is scheduled for 5:00 pm.


 

 

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