March 28, 2004
Cullowhee, N.C. -
With one out in the bottom of the 10th inning, Western Carolina junior Chad McKown sent a 2-0 pitch over the right field fence to give the Catamounts (11-15, 2-7 Southern Conference) a 3-2 win over Davidson (9-14, 5-7 SoCon) Sunday afternoon at Childress Field/Hennon Stadium. Both teams had outstanding pitching performances, combining for 19 strike outs and just one walk for the afternoon.
McKown, who has 14 hits on the season, has hit eight balls out of the park. However, he has only been credited with seven homers for the year as one of his home runs was only credited as a single in the Catamounts' win at #17 Georgia Tech earlier this season as McKown passed another runner on the base paths.
Western Carolina took an early 1-0 lead in the bottom of the first. Wayne Kilmer had lead off double, moved to third on a Todd Roper ground out and scored on an RBI ground out by Chris Davis. The Catamounts got their second run in the bottom of the fourth. With two outs, Denver Edick singled and Jared Greenwood was hit by a pitch. Sophomore Matt Nelson followed with a single to center, scoring Edick on the play.
Davidson got on the board in the top of the seventh when Gregory Zage, who homered to right yesterday, deposited a 1-2 pitch to almost the same spot, making the score 2-1. The Davidson run was the first WCU junior pitcher had allowed in this his fourth career appearance versus the Wildcats,a span of 25.2 innings. Josey pitched 6.2 scoreless innings in a win over Davidson as a freshman, pitched a seven inning complete-game shutout at Davidson last season and pitched 6.0 scoreless innings in a win over Davidson in last year's Southern Conference Tournament.
Josey looked like he would get a complete game this afternoon, getting two quick outs in the top of the ninth. However, with two strikes on Sam Navarro, the Wildcat right fielder singled to left field and moved to second on a WCU fielding error on the play. On the next pitch, Alden Crissey doubled to center field, driving in Navarro and tying the game at 2-2. WCU junior Derrick Hawk
came out of the WCU bullpen and got a ground out to get out of the inning.
In the bottom of the ninth, Western put runners on first and second with one out, but Brian Sigmon lined a ball to third base, which resulted in a double play.
Catamount sophomore Jeremy Ellenburg (1-0) came in to pitch the 10th for WCU, getting two strike outs to start the frame. After a Michael Minuz single, Ellenburg got a pop out to set the stage for McKown's game-winning home run in the bottom of the 10th.
Ellenburg, who has now pitched 7.0 innings in his young career, picks up his first career win and has yet to give up a run in six appearances. Josey pitched 8.2 innings and scattered eight hits, including three doubles, with two runs (one earned), a walk and a season-high eight strike outs. In fact, Josey's top three single-game strike out performances have come versus Davidson. He fanned 10 last season in the SoCon Tourney, eight today and seven last season at Davidson.
Wildcat starter Brian Akin, who is among the SoCon leaders in wins (4-0) and ERA (1.75), was impressive as well. The right hander pitched 8.0 innings and allowed six hits and two runs with zero walks and eight strike outs. Rob Wilson (3-2) suffered the loss. He pitched the final 1.1 innings, allowing just McKown's home run with a strike out.
Offensively for Western, seven different Catamounts each had one hit a piece. Davidson was led offensively by Navarro and Crissey, who each collected two hits.
Western Carolina will start a five-game road swing on Tuesday (Mar. 3), playing at Georgia State. The Catamounts and Panthers will also play on Wednesday, with both games set to start at 4 pm.