April 7, 2012
Spartanburg, S.C. - Brandon Yarusi scattered nine base hits over nine innings and kept the potent Catamount lineup off-balance on Friday night as Wofford scored the series-opening, shutout victory over Western Carolina, 2-0, at Russell C. King Field.
The Catamounts, coming off a season-high 22 hits in the road win at Clemson on Wednesday, were held to just nine singles and only advanced one runner past second base in the losing effort. Yarusi struck out seven without issuing a walk in Wofford's first complete game shutout since 2001.
Freshmen Jacoby Hoyle and Bradley Strong recorded four of WCU's nine hits on the night. Hoyle entered the game in the seventh inning, finishing 2-for-2 with a pair of singles while Strong was 2-for-4.
WCU starter Jordan Smith (2-4) suffered the loss, tossing six and two-thirds innings and allowing the two runs on nine hits. The Liberty, N.C., native worked around two walks with three strikeouts while the Catamount defense turned three double plays including two on the infield and Cody Jones nailed a runner at home after securing a fly ball out in right field.
Three out of the Catamount bullpen including Hunter Brister, Jeremy Sluder and Vance Chavis combined to throw 25 pitches in an inning and a third of work. Brister fanned one in two thirds of an inning of work.
Wofford (12-18, 2-8 SoCon) Konstantine Diamaduros opened the decisive fourth inning with a double down the left field line in what proved to be the only extra base hit of the game. A one-out single through the left side by Eric Brenk put runners at the corners before catcher David Roney laid down a bunt that was fielded by Smith off the mound, throwing home but not in time to nail Diamaduros to plate the first run.
A wild pitch moved Brenk to third base with Stephen Cantrell driving a bases loaded single through the left side to drive in the second run, handing the Terriers the 2-0 advantage.
Western Carolina (21-10, 6-4 SoCon) threatened in the second inning as Tyler White and Dykota Spiess opened the frame with back-to-back singles to lead off the frame. However, both runners were stranded at first and second as Yarusi struck out the final two in the inning.
The Catamounts moved a runner to second base in the third, fifth and eighth innings, but were unable to advance it from there.
WCU's best opportunity came in the seventh inning as Hoyle delivered a one-out pinch hit single to left and was moved to second on a single to center by Strong. Julian Ridings reached on a fielder's choice that erased Strong on a force play at second to put runners at the corners with two outs. However, Yarusi's final strikeout of the game ended the Catamounts' threat.
Wofford's nine hits were scattered between eight different batters with Diamaduros leading the way with a 2-for-4 showing including the only extra base knock of the game on his fourth inning double.
Western Carolina and Wofford will play a Saturday double-header with first pitch of game one at 2:00 pm. Both games will be broadcast on the Catamount Sports Network and can be heard online at CatamountSports.com.