March 30, 2009
Game One: WCU 14, Wofford 10 (10) - Box Score
Game Two: WCU 19, Wofford 2 - Box Score
Spartanburg, S.C. - Western Carolina swept both games of Sunday's Southern Conference double-header against the Wofford Terriers at Russell C. King Field. The Catamounts rallied from a six-run deficit en route to a 14-10 win in 10 innings in game one before pounding out 20 hits in a 19-2 romp in the night cap.
Rain on both Friday and Saturday in the Upstate of South Carolina forced officials to squeeze two of the scheduled three conference match-ups into Sunday's twin bill.
With the two victories, Western Carolina (17-6, 8-3 SoCon extends its active winning streak over Wofford to 18-straight games dating back to the 2002 season. Also, after being outscored 10-to-4 through the first seven innings of the 19 played, the Catamounts managed to outscore Wofford, 29-to-2, over the final 12 frames.
WCU, which played its first extra inning game of the season in game one, also moved into second place in the SoCon behind the College of Charleston (10-2), which took two of three from Furman at home over the weekend.
In Sunday's opener, Western rallied from a 10-4 deficit with a six-run top of the eighth inning to tie the game at 10 heading into the ninth. The Catamounts and reliever Daniel Ottone forced extra innings by working out of a base loaded jam a strike out in the bottom of the ninth.
In the extra frame, WCU pushed across four runs including a two-run home run by junior Brent Greer to win, 14-10.
Chris Masters started for the Catamounts, but was chased in the fifth after allowing 10 runs - only five of which were earned - on 10 hits with a pair of walks and four strikeouts. Western turned to senior reliever Garrett Ozar, who was brilliant through 4.2 innings of scoreless relief. The Oak Park, Calif., native worked around a pair of walks by fanning six and limiting Wofford to three base hits to keep the game in reach until the bats came alive.
Ottone tossed the final inning and a third, relieving Ozar with the bases full of Terriers in the home half of the ninth and the game on the line. The Cary, N.C., product managed to strikeout Wofford's Josh McKinney to end the threat and force the 10th.
In the extra frame, junior Trevor Collias tallied the game-winning run after reaching on a fielder's choice and stealing second - one of his team-best four stolen bases between the two games. Junior Nick Liles then singled to left allowing the speedy Collias to race home for the 11-10 lead. Liles, who moved to second on the throw home trying to get Collias and to third on a balk, scored the first of three insurance runs on a sacrifice fly by classmate Stephen Notaro to push the lead to two, 12-10.
The final blow came when Greer belted a 1-0 pitch over the fence in left for a two-run home run to provide the final tally, 14-10. Ottone struck out two in the final frame to secure his second victory of the season.
Terrier starter Scott Summers went the first seven innings, holding WCU to seven runs on eight hits with six strikeouts. Bobby Streisel lasted a third of an inning with three runs allowed on two hits. Reliever Bobby DeLuria (1-1) was saddled with the loss after tossing the final inning with four hits on four runs allowed.
In the night cap, Western scored in all but two innings, plating six runs as 11 batters went to the plate in the top of the first inning to pound Wofford, 19-2. Senior starter Mike Tavernier only allowed two runs on two base hits through six innings to record the win, striking out eight against three walks.
Kyle Stewart, a freshman reliever, worked one inning of hitless, scoreless relief with a strikeout while also recording his first career home run in his first collegiate at bat as a part of a five-run eighth inning.
Freshmen Tyler Brownlow, Garrett Baker and Andrew Blackwell combined to finish the final two innings with Blackwell posting a strikeout.
For Wofford, starter Cash Collins (2-2) threw 2.1 innings with eleven hits, eleven runs and one strikeout. He was relieved by a bevy of Terrier hurlers including Jordan Mickleberry, Reid McElveen, Anthony Rowland and J.D. Osborne who combined for 4.2 innings with two runs on two hits with two strikeouts. Streisel threw the eighth and gave up five runs on five hits with a strikeout while Mason Bradley closed the game with two hits and a run allowed with two strikeouts.
Offensively on the day for Western Carolina, Reid Rollison led the way at the plate in the twin-bill wins after going 4-for-7 (.571) with a pair of strikeouts, two walks and two runs scored. Greer and Lyons each posted five-hit performances between the two games with the previous going 5-for-9 (.556) with a double and a home run and the latter driving in six runs with a three-run homer and a pair of RBI doubles.
Matt Johns added a solo home run midway through the first game but was later lifted in place of Rollison before returning late in the second game. Logan Bland also legged out two doubles after serving as the designated hitter and relief catcher in the second game, finishing 2-for-4 with a couple of doubles and four RBI.
The Catamounts step out of conference for six-straight games beginning on Wednesday night in Asheville. WCU will visit mountain-rival UNC Asheville at McCormick Field - the home of the Asheville Tourists minor league baseball franchise. First pitch is slated for 7:00 pm.
Western continues its nonconference parade by hosting Mountain West Conference-member, BYU for a three-game set at Childress Field / Hennon Stadium Thursday through Saturday (6pm, 6pm, 2pm), with a road game at Kennesaw State next Tuesday (Apr. 7) and concluding with a home date with Eastern Kentucky on April 8 in Cullowhee.