Senior transfer RHP T.J. Fussell matched a season-high with nine K's in a season-long 7.0 innings to earn his first win as a Catamount on Saturday evening.
March 30, 2014
Cullowhee, N.C. -
Adam Martin blasted two of Western Carolina's four home runs on a chilly, rainy evening at Childress Field / Hennon Stadium as the Catamounts matched Friday's result, powering past the Wofford Terriers for a second-straight day, 11-4, to take the Southern Conference series.
WCU scored in seven of the eight innings in which it took swings on Saturday, improving to 15-9 overall and 4-1 in league play. The Catamounts claimed their ninth-consecutive SoCon series dating back to last season, and have won 20 of their last 22 conference games.
The series finale is scheduled for 2:00 pm on Sunday afternoon. The game will be broadcast on the Catamount Sports Network and can be heard online with streaming audio (free) and video through Catamount All-Access (subscription), and live GameTracker through CatamountSports.com.
Moving back into the weekend starting role, senior transfer T.J. Fussell (1-2) scored his first victory for the Purple & Gold, tossing a season-long seven innings and matching his WCU career-best with nine strikeouts. The Asheville, N.C., product limited Wofford to three runs - only two earned - on just five hits, working around three walks with the nine K's.
Freshman Nate Williams and sophomore Jonathan Waszak both tossed a third of an inning out of the bullpen with sophomore Colton Davis earning his second save of the season, striking out three in an inning and a third of work. Davis got the Catamounts out of a bases loaded jam in the eighth inning with his first K, working around a walk and a single in the final frame.
Wofford (16-11, 1-4 SoCon) led twice in the first two frames before the Catamounts pulled ahead for good in the home half of the second. Terrier first baseman Conor Clancey drove home Josh Hyman in the top of the first as the visitors jumped out, 1-0. The lead was short-lived, though, as Aaron Attaway
drove a 2-0 pitch over the fence in center for a lead-off homer to tie the game at one.
In the second inning, Wofford's James Plaisted led off with a solo homer run to left field to again push the Terriers ahead, 2-1. However, in the home half of the frame, the Catamounts loaded the bases with two outs before Bradley Strong singled into right field, plating two runs to make it 3-2.
After scoring a single run in the third inning after Jacob Hoyle led off with a double off the fence in left field, Western Carolina used a three-run fourth to put some distance between the two teams. With two aboard, Martin blasted his first home run of the night with a three-run shot over the fence in left field to make it 7-2.
WCU tacked on two solo runs in the fifth and sixth innings as Luke Gragg led off with a solo home run in the fifth before Cody Jones recorded the ninth run as the Catamounts pulled ahead, 9-2, through six complete frames.
Wofford closed the deficit back to five, 9-4, with runs in the top of the seventh and eighth innings. The Terriers loaded the bases on three-consecutive walks issued by Fussell with Matt Ramsay lifting a pinch hit, sacrifice fly to plate a run. However, Fussell was able to settle and retire the side with just the one run scoring. In the eighth, Hyman led off with a double down the left field line before scoring on the lone Catamount error on a ball hit up the middle.
The Catamounts stretched the margin back out to seven with a two-spot in the home half of the eighth inning. Martin led off with his second homer of the day on a solo shot over the fence in right center with Hoyle coming home on a wild pitch to provide the final tally.
Western Carolina had four players collect multiple hits in the win led by sophomore catcher Danny Bermudez with a 3-for-3 outing. The Cumming, Ga., native also walked twice to reach five times, scoring twice. Martin drove in four runs on the two home runs with Strong and Hoyle also had two hits for WCU.
Terrier starter Luke Leftwich (3-2) suffered the loss after allowing seven earned runs on eight hits in four innings of work, striking out three against three walks. Wofford had three players finish with multi-hit games as Hyman, Clancey and Plaisted each collected two hits.