March 25, 2006
Cullowhee, N.C. - Western Carolina first baseman Trey McDaniel had a career-high five hits in five at bats, including a three-run home run in the first inning, while Steven Strausbaugh hit his 11th round tripper of the season to lead the Catamounts to an 11-7 victory over Wofford on a snowy Saturday afternoon at Childress Field/Hennon Stadium. Western improves to 14-9 overall and 3-2 in the Southern Conference, while the Terriers drop to 15-12, 3-2.
McDaniel's day overshadowed an impressive performance by Wofford left fielder Steven Fusaro, who was 4-for-5 with three RBI.
Wofford jumped out to an early 2-0 lead in the top of the first. With two outs, Fusaro delivered two-run triple to right-center, plating Adam Wood and John Brandt.
However, Western answered in the home half. After walks to the top two batters, Tim Hallam and Barrett Shaft, McDaniel hit a one-out, three-run home run, giving him seven on the season and making the score 3-2.
The Catamounts took advantage of two hits and an error to tack on two runs in the bottom of the third. After a one-out single by McDaniel, Blake Murphy reached on a two-base error, putting McDaniel on third. Grey Gregory brought the two home with a two-run double down the right field line.
In the fourth, Western extended its advantage to 8-2. Aaron Gabrielian, who walked, and Hallam, who was hit by a pitch, moved up to third and second on a passed ball. Shaft and Strausbaugh had back-to-back sacrifice flies. Then, with two outs, McDaniel singled and scored one batter later on Murphy's double to right.
Wofford cut into its deficit in the fifth, scoring two runs on two hits with two Western errors. Zach Pittman had a leadoff triple and Bradford Eaves followed with an RBI ground out. The Terriers would put runners on the corners with two outs, thanks to consecutive Catamount errors. Fusaro made WCU pay for the miscues with an RBI single to center.
Western used the long ball and a sac fly in the sixth to take an 11-4 lead. After a one-out walk to Shaft, Strausbaugh hit his 11th home run of the season. McDaniel then came through with his fourth hit of the day, moved to second on a passed ball, advanced to third on a balk and scored on Murphy's sac fly.
The Terriers used an RBI single by John Brandt in the seventh and a two-run home run by Eric Sturkie in the eighth to provide the final margin.
Tyler Sexton picked up the win for the Catamounts, improving to 5-1 on the season. The sophomore pitched seven innings, allowing 11 hits and five runs (three earned) with zero walks and six strikeouts. Terrier starter Reid McElveen was saddled with the loss, falling to 2-2 on the season. He only allowed five hits, but walked five in allowing eight runs (seven earned) with three strikeouts.
The two teams will complete their three-game, weekend series with a single contest Sunday with first pitch set for 2 pm.