April 8, 2014
Cullowhee, N.C. - Led by the career-night of sophomore infielder J.D. Long, eight Catamounts collected hits including four finishing with multi-hit games as Western Carolina cruised past Presbyterian, 16-0, Tuesday evening in nonconference action at Childress Field / Hennon Stadium.
The Catamounts (21-9), which claimed their 10th-straight victory, scored in seven of the eight innings in which they took swings to remain perfect against the Blue Hose all-time (3-0). Presbyterian (10-22-1) dropped its 12th-consecutive game on the year.
Long, a Waxhaw, N.C., native, posted a career-best 4-for-5 outing with four singles and three RBI to lead WCU, which improved to 13-1 at home this season. Junior Bradley Strong opened the decisive bottom of the first inning with a solo home run over the fence in right field as a part of his 3-for-5 outing, driving in three runs while classmate Jacob Hoyle also hit a lead-off home run in the second as a part of a 2-for-4 showing, extending his current hit streak to 10.
Enka, N.C., product Cody Jones plated a game-high four runs on a 3-for-4 evening, finishing just a home run shy of the cycle. He drove home three on a bases-loaded triple after the Catamounts had batted around in the bottom of the eight-run first inning. Jones extended his current hitting streak to a team-leading and career-long 13-straight games, while also reaching safely now in 22-consecutive.
Senior Taylor Sandefur matched his career-high with two RBI including one in the first and one on a sacrifice fly in the fourth inning.
Catamount starter Bryan Sammons (6-1) tossed six scoreless innings, scattering five singles while striking out three against two walks to secure his second-straight midweek victory over a Big South Conference foe. Relievers Bryce Danielson, Korey Anderson and Dillon Bray combined to toss the final three shutout innings, allowing just two hits and two walks.
After lighting the scoreboard eight times in the opening frame, the Catamounts managed solo runs in the second through fifth before being sat down in order in the scoreless sixth inning. In the seventh, freshman Dylan Prevatte led off with a single to right field before Long delivered a single up the middle to ultimately put runners at second and third. Bradley Strong then drove home two on a bouncing single up the middle before his younger brother, Reece Strong, drove a pinch hit double to right center field to score his sibling, capping the three-run frame.
Long closed the game's scoring by plating Dale Urquhart Jr., who drew a pinch hit walk in the bottom of the eighth inning, on a sharp single back up the middle to provide the final, 16-0, tally.
Presbyterian's seven hits were spread between six batters on Tuesday. The Blue Hose were led by left fielder Nate Chong with a 2-for-4 outing, doubling down the third base line in the ninth inning. Between the seven hits and four walks from Catamount pitching, Presbyterian ultimately stranded 10 runners while WCU left nine on base.
Blue Hose starter Brian Kehner (0-6) lasted just a third of an inning after being struck by a sharp, RBI single up the middle by Taylor Sandefur as the Catamounts pushed across eight runs in the home half of the first inning. Kehner was tagged with six runs - only two earned - on three hits with a walk.
Western Carolina travels to UNC Asheville on Wednesday evening in the back-end of a midweek, nonconference home-and-home. The Catamounts claimed the first meeting, 4-1, in Cullowhee last Tuesday. Wednesday's game is at UNCA's on-campus Greenwood Field with the Bulldogs dedicating their new field lights in a special pregame ceremony. First pitch is scheduled for 6:00 pm.