Western Carolina Outslugs High Point for Mid-Week Victory, 17-11, Wednesday Night

CATAMOUNTSPORTSDOTCOM Freshman Taylor Sandefur (1-0) earned his first collegiate victory, striking out two in a career-long five innings of work Wednesday night against High Point. (Photo by Mark Haskett)
CATAMOUNTSPORTSDOTCOM
Freshman Taylor Sandefur (1-0) earned his first collegiate victory, striking out two in a career-long five innings of work Wednesday night against High Point. (Photo by Mark Haskett)
CATAMOUNTSPORTSDOTCOM

March 31, 2010

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Cullowhee, N.C. - Trevor Collias drove in a career-high six runs as Western Carolina scored in all but two innings it took swings to outslug the High Point Panthers, 17-11, Wednesday night in mid-week, nonconference baseball action at Childress Field / Hennon Stadium.

Collias finished 4-for-5 with two home runs and a double as seven Catamounts posted multiple hit games. WCU (16-7-1) won its seventh-straight over the Panthers and stretched its unbeaten streak in the head-to-head series to 15-straight dating back to 1987. Senior Tyler Kirkpatrick and junior Matt Johns each drove in three runs apiece, while Austin Schultz and Ross Heffley each drove in a pair in WCU's third-straight seasonal win.

Schultz and Heffley each finished 3-fo-6 while catcher Ollie Goulder had a 2-for-3 showing with a pair of walks to stretch his streak of reaching base safely to 20 games.

Freshman right-hander Taylor Sandefur (1-0) surrendered four runs on seven hits with two walks in a career-long five innings of work in the starting effort to claim his first collegiate victory on the mound for WCU. The Mechanicsville, Va., native also struck out two in the win.

All told, the Catamounts used six pitchers with relievers Andrew Blackwell, Andrew Chilcoat, Brandon Johnson and Daniel Ottone each tossing an inning, while freshman Mat Batts was used in a match-up role, facing just one batter. Johnson added two strikeouts to his seasonal total out of the four batters he faced while Blackwell also fanned one batter.

After the Panthers lit the scoreboard first in the top half of the second inning with a two-out, solo home run to left by Steve Antolik, the Catamounts answered in the bottom of the frame by pushing across four runs to take a lead they would never relinquish.

Dylan de Graaf reached on the first of five HPU errors, ending up a second base at the end of the first play of the second inning. The next batter, Johns, singled up the middle to score de Graaf to tie the game. With Johns and freshman Tyler White aboard, Collias blasted the seventh pitch of his at bat over the left field fence for a three-run homer, handing the Catamounts a 4-1 lead through two. Collias would add a second home run, a solo-shot to right in the fourth.

Heffley led off the third with a home run to left on the first pitch of the inning to stretch the lead to four, 5-1, before High Point trimmed the margin back to two with a pair of runs in the top of the fourth. Matt Gantner homered to right center for a single run with Antolik notching a second RBI with a single up the middle to plate the second run to make it a 5-3 game.

Leading 6-3, the Catamounts exploded in the home portion of the fifth inning, scoring six runs on five hits and capitalizing on two Panther miscues. After Goulder walked and de Graaf reached on a fielder's choice, Johns laced the first of four WCU doubles in the frame down the left field line to plate two. Kirkpatrick, Collias and Schultz also subsequently doubled with Heffley closing the frame with an RBI single to left close the scoring in the inning.

The Panthers scored four runs in the top of the sixth inning including three on a three-run homer by Pablo Rosario to pull to within four, 12-8. High Point again closed to within two runs by manufacturing three in the top of the eighth. However, four runs in the home half of the eighth including a two RBI double off the bat of Kirkpatrick and run-producing singles by Collias and Schultz put the game out of reach.

High Point (16-10) starter Zach Haile was tagged with the loss after allowing five runs on seven hits and being chased after just two innings of work. He was just one of eight pitchers the Panthers trotted to the hill, all lasting at least one third of an inning.

Antolik and Sal Pezzino led High Point with three hits apiece - both going 3-for-4 - with Murray White IV marking the only other Panther with a multi-hit game with two hits in five at bats.

Western Carolina remains at home as it opens a three-game nonconference series with New York Tech beginning Friday at 6:00 pm. The home stand includes a 3:00 pm first pitch on Saturday with Sunday's finale at 2:00 pm on-campus in Cullowhee.


 

 

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