April 4, 2010
Cullowhee, N.C. - Western Carolina fought back from an early five-run deficit to nip New York Tech, 11-8, on Sunday afternoon at Childress Field / Hennon Stadium. WCU (18-8-1) clinched the weekend series by outscoring NYIT (5-11) 7-to-2 in the last five and a half innings.
The Bears scored six runs on seven hits in the top of the second to take the 6-1 lead. Junior Matt John's highlighted a two-run bomb to left field to cut the Cats' deficit to 6-4. Western Carolina added five more runs in the middle innings to take control of the game, 9-7.
Johns, a native of Stafford, Va., hit two home runs in the contest as he finished the afternoon with a team leading 3-for-4 with four RBIs, three runs scored and a walk.
Reliever Brandon Johnson (4-1) secured his team-best fourth victory of the season after tossing four and two-thirds innings of relief. The junior fanned six New York Tech batters before being relieved by Catamount closer Daniel Ottone in the ninth.
Facing a 6-1 deficit, the Catamounts chipped away with a trio of runs in the home-half of the second. Infielder Tyler Kirkpatrick scored from a Cameron Dullnig sacrifice fly to cut the NYIT lead to four. Johns' first blast of the contest to left field cut WCU's deficit to 6-4.
NYIT padded their lead with another run in the top of the third, before Johns added his fourth homer of the season to cut the Bears' lead to 7-6. Trevor Collias' single at third drove in Kirkpatrick to tie the contest at seven. On the next play, Collias was caught in a rundown between first and second, but the distraction allowed Cameron Dulling to slide in safely to give the Catamounts the 8-7 advantage.
Dullnig went 2-for-4 with a run and RBI, as Collias picked up a 2-for-5 afternoon with a run and RBI.
Kirkpatrick singled again in the seventh to drive in catcher Ollie Goulder to add to the Catamounts' advantage. Kirkpatrick finished Sunday's contest with a hit, two runs, two walks and a RBI.
In the eighth, Dylan de Graaf scored another run from a defensive miscue by New York Tech. On the same play, Goulder rounded third and scored to give the Cats their 11th run of the game. Goulder finished with a pair of this and runs on Sunday. The junior managed a team-high six hits in three games in the weekend series against New York Tech.
Starter Kyle Stewart gave up six runs on seven hits in an inning and two-thirds in the no-decision. Andrew Blackwell surrendered a run on three hits in his inning and two-thirds in relief before Johnson took over for the middle innings.
Jon Costa (1-1) took the loss for NYIT, giving up two earned runs with three strikeouts in an inning and two-thirds. Jerry and Brian Smith managed a combined six hits and two runs for the Bears, while teammate Effery Valdez collected three hits with two RBI.
Western Carolina's make-up game with UNC Asheville on Monday has been cancelled. The Catamounts will return to non-conference action on Wednesday, April 7 when they play at the University of Tennessee. The game is scheduled for a 6:00 p.m. first pitch.