March 31, 2004
Atlanta, Ga. - After Western Carolina rallied to tie the game at 10-10 in the top of the ninth, Georgia State's Mike Buchanan won the game with an RBI single to center, giving the Panthers an 11-10 victory Wednesday evening at Panthersville Field.
In the top of the ninth, the Cats tied the game at 10-10. Denver Edick drew a one-out walk but was retired at second on a Jared Greenwood fielder's choice ground out. Pinch hitter Mike McGowan moved Greenwood to third with a double to right-center field. With two outs, Matt Nelson hit what looked to be a game-ending fly ball to center, but the center-fielder lost the ball in the lights, resulting in a two-run double, tying the game.
However, in the home half, Cole Reissig came on as a pinch hitter and was hit by a pitch. He later stole second and scored the game-winning run on Buchanan's single.
Georgia State relief pitcher Braden Staranchuk (1-0) pitched the final 4.2 innings to get the win. He allowed five hits and three runs (two earned) with a walk and four strikeouts. Western Carolina's Brian McCullen (0-2) suffered the loss, pitching 0.1 innings with one hit and one run with one strikeout.
Georgia State took an early 3-0 lead. Justin Newman had a one-out single in the bottom of the third and scored one batter later on an RBI double by Ryan Sterling. Charlie Pelt made it three consecutive hits when he cleared the bases with a two-run home run over the right field fence.
Western answered with three runs of its own in the top of the fourth. Todd Roper drew a leadoff walk and moved to third on a single by Chris Davis. Roper would score on a double-play ground out, making the score 3-1. Greenwood made the score 3-2 with a solo home run to right, his 10th blast of the season. Brian Sigmon kept the inning alive with a double and scored when Nelson found a hole in the left side of the infield for an RBI single, tying the game at 3-3.
The Catamounts took their first lead of the game in the top of the fifth, scoring four runs and making the score 7-3. Chad McKown had a leadoff home run, his eight homer of the season. Wayne Kilmer followed with a double down the right field line and moved to third on Roper's single to right. Davis made it four straight hits to start the fifth, driving in Kilmer with a line drive to right and moving Roper to second. After a strikeout, Greenwood brought home Roper and Davis with a single to center and moved to second on a error on the play.
Georgia State regained the advantage (10-7) as it scored seven runs on just three hits in the bottom of the fifth, taking advantage of three walks and two hits batters. Newman had a leadoff single. Then, the Panthers loaded the bases after Sterling walked and Pelt was hit by a pitch. Georgia State pushed one run across when Rusty Bennett drew an RBI walk. Tim Burgess drove in Sterling with a single through the right side, keeping the bases loaded and chasing WCU relief pitcher Matt Tegue. New Catamount pitcher Brandon Nash came in and hit Brian Williams, scoring Pelt and making the score 7-6. Pinch hitter Tim Johnson drew a walk to score Bennett and Ryan Clark followed with a fielder's choice RBI, allowing GSU to retake the lead at 8-7. After a strikeout, Newman, who started the inning with a double, drove in Clark and Williams with a single to right for the 10-7 lead.
Western made the score 10-8 in the top of the eighth. Nelson had a leadoff infield single and moved to second on a passed ball. With two outs, Kilmer had an RBI double to right-center field, driving in Nelson.
For the Catamounts, Davis and Nelson each had three hits, while Greenwood and Nelson each drove in three. WCU starting pitcher Clint Ramsey had one his better outing, getting his first career start. The junior from Weaverville, N.C., pitched 4.0 innings with five hits and three runs with one walk and three strikeouts. Brian Barnes also had a solid pitching effort wasted. After Georgia State scored its 10th run of the game, Barnes pitched the three scoreless innings, allowing the Cats to get back in the game. Barnes scattered three hits with two walks and two strikeouts.
The Panther offense was led by Newman and Pelt, who each had three hits and two RBI. GSU starting pitcher Burgess pitched 4.1 innings and allowed 10 hits and seven runs with one walk and four strikeouts.
Western Carolina will stay on the road to play a three-game set at East Tennessee State this weekend. The Cats and Bucs will at 7 pm in Johnson City on Friday. The game will be broadcast on the Catamount Sports Network, airing on Sylva's WRGC (680 AM), Cullowhee's WWCU (90.5 FM) and Franklin's WFSC (1050 AM) as well as on WCU's official website www.catamountsports.com.