March 20, 2013
Knoxville, Tenn. - Big innings were the order of the day as the Tennessee Volunteers rallied past the Western Carolina Catamounts, 10-5, in midweek nonconference action Wednesday evening at Lindsey Nelson Stadium.
WCU grabbed an early 5-0 lead with five runs in the top half of the second inning before the Vols rallied in the decisive third inning, scoring nine runs on eight hits - all coming with two out - to claim a lead they would never relinquish. Tennessee (11-9) saw nine-straight hitters reach including seven on consecutive hits before a hit batter was followed by the inning's eighth hit.
Julian Ridings paced the Catamounts with a 3-for-5 showing at the dish with two singles and a two-RBI triple in the second inning. Jacob Hoyle also tripled in a 2-for-2 showing while also drawing two walks with Bradley Strong (2-for-5) and Cody Jones (2-for-5) also collecting two hits in the road loss.
Western Carolina (12-9) broke open a scoreless tie in the top of the second as Hoyle opened the frame with a triple to right center field. Following a walk to Luke Gragg to put runners at the corners with one out, Adam Martin lifted a sacrifice fly to center field to put the Catamounts in front 1-0, scoring Hoyle. A single through the right side by Strong put runners at the corners with a double-steal moving Strong to second and saw Gragg swipe home plate for the 2-0 lead.
A second walk in the frame to Aaron Attaway put two aboard before Jones singled up the middle to drive home the third run, scoring Strong. The next batter, Ridings, tripled to left centerfield scoring two to hand WCU the 5-0 lead.
Tennessee's Parker Wormsley was plunked by a pitch for an auspicious start to the Vols third inning but a sacrifice bunt retired leading hitter, Will Maddox, moving Wormsley to second with one out. Jeff Moberg then flied out to left field for the second out. However, a RBI double to left center by Scott Price was the first of seven-straight base hits for the Vols with Tennessee capitalizing on one WCU error to surge in front, 9-5.
In the seventh, Wormsley reached on a bunt single on a squeeze play with Pierce Biley scoring an insurance run to provide the final tally, 10-5.
WCU reliever Danny Schneider (1-1) was saddled with the loss, surrendering three runs - two of which were unearned - in the Vols' big third inning. Schneider was the first of six pitchers out of the bullpen for the Catamounts in relief of starter Jon Nadale, who struck out two in two and two thirds of an inning. The Petaloma, Calif., native allowed three runs on three hits before coming out with two gone in the third inning.
Freshman reliever Colton Davis went a team-long three and a third innings out of the pen, matching his career long outing, holding the Vols to one run on two hits. His classmate Alex Barr recorded a strikeout in two thirds of an inning while sophomore Tyler Powell struck out the only batter he faced in his team-leading 14th appearance.
Tennessee relief pitcher Trevor Charpie (2-0) settled things down for the Volunteers after starter Aaron Quillen surrendered five runs on five hits in the second inning. Charpie held WCU scoreless through six innings, only allowing five hits with two walks against two strikeouts. Drake Owenby struck out three in the ninth, stranding two Catamount base runners.
Biley and Price led Tennessee with three hits apiece while Wormsley finished 2-for-3 in the winning effort.
Western Carolina returns home to Childress Field / Hennon Stadium for a three-game Southern Conference series against the Elon Phoenix beginning Friday afternoon at 5:00 pm, and continuing with a 2:00 pm first pitch on Saturday and 1:00 pm on Sunday.
Elon comes to Cullowhee riding a five-game winning streak including midweek wins over Virginia Tech and Princeton, as well as sweeping UNCG in league play last weekend. WCU has won eight of its last 11 overall, winning back-to-back SoCon series on the road over Davidson and the College of Charleston.