April 2, 2013
Cullowhee, N.C. - Jacob Hoyle matched his career-high with four hits including three for extra bases as Western Carolina overcame a sluggish start to rally past mountain-rival UNC Asheville, 13-9, Tuesday night in the front-end of a mid-week home-and-home at Childress Field / Hennon Stadium.
Hoyle paced five Catamounts with multiple-hit games as WCU overcame a five-run first inning deficit in halting a three-game slide to the Bulldogs while handing UNCA its ninth-straight loss this season. The Hickory, N.C., native had two doubles and his third home run of the season, driving in three runs to move into a tie with senior Tyler White for the team lead with 27 RBI.
The visiting Bulldogs plated five runs in the top of the first inning including three on a Todd Joyner home run, capitalizing on two WCU errors. However, after stranding two in the first inning, the Catamounts got going in the second with the first two of six-straight markers to take a one-run lead, 6-5, through three.
Aaron Attaway drove in two runs on a two-out double to right center field in the second inning to put the Catamounts on the board, trimming UNCA's lead to three, 5-2. In the third inning, Luke Gragg drove home White who was plunked by a pitch to open the frame. Hoyle scored on a wild pitch with J.D. Long driving in a run on a sacrifice fly and an infield throwing error allowing the third run home.
The Bulldogs charged back in the fourth taking advantage of four free passes from Catamount pitching. Billy Creighton and Tommy Houmard drove in runs on bases loaded walks to push UNCA back in front, 7-6, before Ian Graham singled home former Catamount Phillip Treadway to give the `Dogs a two-run, 8-6, cushion.
Western Carolina responded with seven-straight runs including one in the fifth and three in both the sixth and seventh innings to claim a lead it would never relinquish. Dykota Spiess scored on a wild pitch in the fifth with Cody Jones coming home on a UNCA throwing error ahead of Hoyle's two-run home run in the sixth inning. Then, in the seventh, Attaway belted his fifth home run of the year with a lead-off solo shot to left center with Hoyle scoring White and Spiess doubling home Hoyle to cap WCU's scoring.
UNCA added one additional run in the eighth as Ian Graham opened with a double to right center before scoring on a sacrifice fly by Kyle Towles to provide the final tally, 13-9.
Behind Hoyle's 4-for-5 showing at the dish, Attaway was 2-for-6 with a double and three RBI while Spiess and White were 2-for-4. Bradley Strong finished 2-for-3 with a double and a walk.
Freshman Alex Barr (2-0) scored the victory for the Catamounts, striking out a career-high five in two and a third relief innings. The Hamptonville, N.C., native held UNCA to one run on two hits to score his second collegiate victory.
Freshman Colton Davis struck out two in an inning and a third as the first out of the bullpen in relief of starter Adam Curtis. Facing his former high school coach - and 1976 Western Carolina graduate, Tom Smith - Curtis tossed three and a third innings in the starting role, allowing seven runs - only two of which were earned - on five hits with four walks and a strikeout.
Reliever Justin Hunt (0-2) took the loss for UNC Asheville, surrendering three runs on three hits in an inning and a third out of the bullpen. Combined, the Bulldogs used six pitchers on the night, striking out six.
Offensively, Joyner finished 2-for-5 with three RBI while Graham was a perfect 3-for-3 with a pair of walks to pace the Bulldogs.
Western Carolina and UNC Asheville meet at historic McCormick Field on Wednesday evening with first pitch at 6:00 pm. Fans can follow the game with live streaming audio from the Catamount Sports Network online at CatamountSports.com with air time of 5:45 pm.