April 6, 2007
Davidson, N.C. - Western Carolina hit four home runs, including three, two-run shots as the Catamounts won their second-straight Southern Conference series, downing the Davidson Wildcats, 10-4, Friday night at Wilson Field. Senior Kenny Smith blasted a pair of homers - his first two on the road this season - while juniors Steven Strausbaugh and Blake Murphy added two-run, round trippers and red-shirt sophomore Drew Saberhagen earned his third victory of the season, striking out a season-best four.
Western (18-11, 5-3 SoCon) will go for its second SoCon three-game sweep on Saturday afternoon with the first pitch scheduled for 2:00 pm. The game will be broadcast by the Catamount Sports Network and can be heard locally in Western North Carolina on WWCU-FM, Power 90dot5, or online at www.WWCUFM.com.
Saberhagen pitched six innings, allowing just one earned run while scattering four hits and four walks to earn the victory. Davidson's Thomas Middour was saddled with the loss, allowing five earned runs in 6.1 innings pitched with three walks and three strikeouts.
After a scoreless first, Western broke through in the top of the second as Smith led off with a single to center and Strausbaugh belted a two-run homer to center field on a full count pitch. Three innings later, in the top of the fifth, designated hitter Tyler Kirkpatrick led off the frame with a single to left center and moved to third on a sacrifice bunt by Brent Greer and a fly out to right by Barrett Shaft. Kirkpatrick would trot home after Murphy ended his 0-for-2 start to the day with a two-run homer to right center and a 4-0 WCU lead.
Davidson (15-18, 4-7 SoCon) scratched the scoreboard in the bottom of the fifth as shortstop Matt Webb led off with a double to center and scored on consecutive outs to pull within three, 4-1. Yet the Catamounts exploded in the seventh with four runs to pull ahead for the win. With Murphy and Greene aboard at second and third, respectively, Ingram roped a two-RBI single up the middle for a 6-1 advantage. The next batter, Smith, cleared the bases with the third, two-run home run, driving the first pitch of the at bat over the wall in left field for the 8-1 advantage.
Western would add two additional runs as Greer drove in his classmate Nick Liles on a single to center in the eighth, with Smith belting his second homer of the game in the top of the ninth off of Wildcat reliever, Brian Packey. Davidson pushed across three runs in the final two innings, including two in the ninth, but WCU relief pitchers Chris Masters, who threw a hitless/scoreless seventh inning, Ryne Nelson and Andrew Larrimore combined to shut the door and help lift the Catamounts to the victory.
Overall, the Catamounts scored 10 runs on a dozen base hits while Davidson finished with four runs on 10 hits, stranding 11 base runners.