March 27, 2004
Cullowhee, N.C. -
Chris Davis, Jared Greenwood and Matt Nelson each had three hits and combined to drive in eight Catamounts as Western Carolina held on to defeat Davidson, 12-10, Saturday evening at Childress Field/Hennon Stadium. The win moved Western to 10-15 overall and 1-7 in the Southern Conference, while Davidson falls to 9-13, 5-6.
Davis, missing the last two games with a back injury, ended the game 3-for-5 with a double and a home run, scoring four runs. Greenwood was 3-for-6 and hit a three-run home run, putting him in a tie for the SoCon lead in homers now with nine. Nelson, who was 3-for-5 in his last game, was 3-for-4 today with three RBI.
Davidson got on the board with two runs in the top of the first. Eli Benefield drew a one out walk and moved to second on a ground out. Michael Muniz and Alex Entrekin each followed with RBI singles. Jay Heafner followed with a walk to load the bases, but WCU starter Brian McCullen got a strike out to get out of the inning.
In the bottom of the first, Western sent 11 men to the plate, scoring six runs on four hits. Todd Roper drew a out walk and moved to second on an infield single by Davis. Two batters later, Greenwood cleared the bases with a three-run home run to center. After two hit batters and a walk to load the bases, Nelson came through with a three-run single to center, scoring Chad McKown, Mike McGowan and Brandon Zollman.
The Wildcats trimmed their deficit to one (6-5) in the top of the third. Entrekin had a lead off double and moved to third on a infield single by Gregory Zage. First baseman Alden Crissey plated Entrekin with a double to right, putting runners on second and third. A walk loaded the bases and Andrew Musashe brought home Zage with an RBI fielder's choice. With runners on first and third, the Cats tried a pick off at first, but a throwing error allowed Crissey to score for the Wildcats' third run of the inning.
In the bottom of the fourth, Davis and Denver Edick
had back-to-back doubles to start the home half, putting WCU up 7-5. After a ground out and a strike out, Mike McGowan
looped a single to right, scoring Edick and pushing WCU's advantage to three (8-5). The Catamounts would go on to load the bases, but Wildcat relief pitcher Justin Hartanov got Wayne Kilmer
to line out to short to end the threat.
In the top of the fifth, Davidson tied the game at 8-8, scoring three runs on five hits. Jay Heafner had a lead off single and Zage followed with a two-run home run, his second of the season. With two outs, Musashe had double to center then Benefield followed suit with an RBI double to center. New Catamount relief pitcher Brian Barnes came in to get a ground out and escape further damage.
Western regained the lead in the bottom of the fifth. Davis had a lead off home run to right, his fourth homer of the season. However, in the top of the seventh, the Wildcats got a one out single by Ronnie Shore. After a balk, Musashe singled to center to plate Shore and once again tie the game (9-9).
The Catamounts got back on top (12-9) with three runs in bottom of the seventh. Nelson singled, Kilmer walked and Roper was hit by a pitch to load the bases. Davis reached on a fielder's choice, but a throwing error allowed both Kilmer and Roper to score. Edick plated Davis with a sacrifice fly to center. With two outs, WCU loaded the bases again after a Greenwood double and McKown and McGowan were hit by pitches. New Davidson pitcher Taylor Shoop came in to get a strike out and end the inning.
Davidson threatened in the top of the ninth. Crissey started the ninth with a single up the middle. Shore followed with an RBI double down the left field line, providing the final 12-10 score. WCU junior college transfer Daniel Lindner entered the game and got a foul out, a strike out and a ground out to pick up his first career save as a Catamount.
Barnes earned the win for WCU, improving to 2-2 on the season. He pitched 3.1 innings and allowed six hits and two runs with a walk. McCullen lasted 2.1 innings and also surrendered six hits with five runs (four earned), three walks and three strike outs.
The Wildcats had eight of their nine batters collect at least one hit. Muniz, Zage and Crissey each had three hits with Musashe, Benefield, Entrekin and Shore each tallied two singles. Starter Matt Dellinger lasted 3.2 innings and surrendered 10 hits and eight runs with three walks and four strike outs. Hartanov (0-2) suffered the loss. He pitched 3.0 innings with three hits, four runs, one walk and two strike outs. While Davidson out-hit Western 18-13, the Wildcat pitchers combined to walk eight Catamounts and hit seven Catamounts. Western's pitching staff only walked five and only hit one Wildcat batter.
Western Carolina and Davidson will conclude their three-game set on Sunday with first pitch set for 1 pm.