March 28, 2014
Cullowhee, N.C. - Jeremy Null struck out eight in seven scoreless innings while seven Catamounts combined to pound out 11 hits - five for extra bases - as Western Carolina took game one of its Southern Conference series against the Wofford Terriers, 11-4, Friday evening at Childress Field / Hennon Stadium.
The three-game series continues on Saturday evening with first pitch of game two bumped back to 5:00 pm due to the forecasted threat of inclement weather throughout the day.
Senior Aaron Attaway paced all hitters with a 3-for-5 showing, doubling twice and scoring all four times he reached base in the winning effort. Both senior Adam Martin and junior Bradley Strong drove home three runs apiece - Martin on three different swings while Strong doubled to right field to key the decisive five-run second inning. Martin (2-for-4) and classmate Cody Jones (2-for-5) both recorded a single and double in their two-hit performances.
Null (3-1) got back on track - and back in the win column - for WCU on Friday, scattering five hits without allowing a run. The Claremont, N.C., product only allowed only one walk and pitched out of a bases-loaded jam in the sixth inning to score his 16th career victory.
Relievers Jonathan Waszak and B.J. Nobles both tossed an inning out of the bullpen. The sophomore, Waszak, surrendered two earned runs on two walks with one hit while the freshman, Nobles, matched a walk with a strikeout, allowing two runs on two hits in the ninth inning.
Western Carolina (14-9, 3-1 SoCon) got on the board in the home half of the first inning as Attaway dropped a double down the right field line to start the rally. Strong moved him around to third on a fly out to center before Martin captured his first RBI of the game on a sharp ground ball up the middle that careened off the pitcher's cleat before resulting in a force out at first, but drove home the go-ahead run.
Leading 1-0, the Catamounts grabbed control in the second with five runs crossing the plate on five hits, cued by a one-out double by Cody Jones. Third baseman J.D. Long singled up the middle to drive in Jones. Later in the frame, with the bases loaded, Strong delivered the big swing of the frame as he doubled off the fence in right field to drive in three. He would later score on a RBI single down the left-field line by Catamount RBI-leader, Martin, to make it 6-0 through two.
The margin remained at six runs until the home portion of the seventh inning when WCU again scratched the scoreboard with a crooked number. Martin plated his third run of the game on a double to left center before Jones scored two on a single to right field to hand the Catamounts a 9-0 edge.
Wofford (16-10, 1-3 SoCon) took advantage of three freebies in the top of the eighth inning, getting a lead-off single up the middle by catcher Luke Feisal before a couple of walks and a hit batter loaded the bases and drove home a run. Clean-up hitter Conor Clancey plated a second Terrier run on a sacrifice fly, plating Josh Hyman to make it 9-2 going to the bottom of the frame.
With its lead trimmed back to seven, Western Carolina matched the two-spot hung in the top of the inning with two in the bottom to reclaim the nine-run edge. Attaway doubled to left to score the first run before freshman Dylan Prevatte collected his first career RBI on a bases loaded fielder's choice, scoring Attaway from third to make it 11-2.
The Terriers were able to get two runs across in the top of the ninth to provide the final tally. Pinch hitter Matt Ramsay singled with relief catcher Carson Waln walking to put two aboard. Designated hitter Alec Paradowski then doubled down the right field line to bring home both runners. However, WCU and Nobles were able to get a game-ending groundout force play at second to secure the win.
Feisal (2-for-3) and Paradowski (2-for-4) led Wofford with two hits apiece with the latter finishing with two RBI on the ninth-inning double. Starting pitcher Matthew Milburn (2-3) took the loss after allowing eight runs - seven of which were earned - on nine hits in 6.1 innings, walking one and striking out five. Milburn was the first of five Terrier pitchers to toe the rubber on Friday night.
Saturday's game will be broadcast by the Catamount Sports Network with air time of 4:45 pm ahead of the 5:00 pm first pitch. Fans can follow online with live streaming audio (free) and video through Catamount All-Access (subscription), with live GameTracker all available through CatamountSports.com.