March 25, 2012
Cullowhee, N.C. - Western Carolina dropped its Southern Conference series finale to UNC Greensboro on Sunday afternoon, falling 5-1 at Childress Field / Hennon Stadium. UNCG took the lead with a four-run top of the third inning to prevent the series sweep.
The loss is WCU's first inside at home this year, while also halting a 14-game home win streak that dated back to the final three-game series of the 2011 season.
Spartan pitching stymied the potent Catamount lineup, limiting WCU to just seven singles while allowing just two runners past second base on the afternoon. Starter Max Povse (2-2) went six innings in the win, scattering four hits while countering two walks with a pair of strikeouts. Reliever Dylan Hathcock picked up the save by working three scoreless innings, holding WCU to just three base hits with a walk and three strikeouts.
Western Carolina (17-7, 4-2 SoCon) took the early lead as Dykota Spiess, who earned the start in left field, drove in his eighth run of the three-game set lifted a sacrifice fly to deep center field after both Jacob Hoyle and Cody Jones had both singled and moved up one base on a passed ball. WCU led 1-0 after two.
Jones and freshman Bradley Strong accounted for four of the WCU seven hits as Jones was 2-for-3 with a walk while Strong finished 2-for-4.
In the top of the fourth, UNCG (13-10, 3-6 SoCon) plated four runs on five hits, loading the bases on three-consecutive singles including two that didn't leave the infield. Christian Wolfe tied the game with a sacrifice fly to center field before Trevor Edwards belted his first of two home runs on the day - a three-run shot that made it 4-1 heading into the bottom of the third.
Edwards, who finished 2-for-4 with four RBI, hit a second round tripper in the fifth inning, homering with two out to provide the final tally, 5-1. Also for UNCG, Cole Harrison went 2-for-4 on the day.
The Catamounts threatened in the seventh inning with two runners on, but could not plate a run. Then, in the eighth, Ross Heffley had a two-out single but was left at the right corner. All told, WCU batters combined to fly out 15 times against the UNCG pitchers.
WCU starter Jon Nadale (2-3) was saddled with the loss after surrendering five runs on eight hits with three strikeouts and a walk. Freshman Tyler Powell threw an inning of hitless, scoreless relief while Vance Chavis and Jeremy Sluder combined to toss the final two frames with Sluder fanning two in 1.2 innings.
Western Carolina closes a four-game home stand by hosting Kennesaw State in a mid-week, home-and-home series. The Catamounts host the Owls on Tuesday evening at Childress Field / Hennon Stadium beginning at 5:00 pm before traveling to Kennesaw State on Wednesday with first pitch at 5:00 pm.