April 10, 2004
Cullowhee, N.C. - Western Carolina's Mike McGowan went 3-for-3 with two doubles and a home run to lead the Catamounts to a 10-4 victory over Furman Saturday afternoon at Childress Field/Hennon Stadium.
McGowan, who collected his third three-hit game of the season, bumped his season batting average from .319 to .360 after today's contest.
The Catamounts (16-17, 6-8 SoCon) also got a solid pitching performance from Brad Josey, who improved to 3-2 on the season. The junior scattered 11 hits over 8.0 innings and allowed three runs (two earned) with no walks and three strikeouts. Although the Paladins (10-19, 4-7 SoCon) did manage the 11 hits off Josey, Western turned a season-high five double plays to preserve the win. Furman, who made five errors, did out-hit WCU 13-10, but Western pitchers did not allow a walk, compared to eight walks by the Paladin pitchers.
Western extended its lead to 6-0 in the bottom of the third thanks to three Catamount hits and two Furman errors. With one out, Denver Edick reached on a Paladin error. Jared Greenwood followed by being hit by a pitch. Brian Sigmon plated Edick with a single through the left side, moving Greenwood to third. Furman starting pitcher David Mitchell balked, allowing Greenwood to score and putting Sigmon on second. McGowan drove in Sigmon with a double to left-center. After a strikeout, Brandon Zollman singled to put runners on the corners. Furman looked to get out of the inning, but an error on Kilmer's ground ball to second allowed McGowan to score the final run of the frame.
Furman got on the board with two runs in the top of the fourth, making the score 6-2. Nick Mershon had a leadoff double and Matthew Betsill followed by reaching on an error. Case Cassedy loaded the bases with a single to right. After a ground out, Paul Ortenzo brought home Betsill and Cassedy with a two-run single to right. The Catamounts got an inning-ending double play to end the threat.
In the bottom of the fifth, McGowan, a junior college transfer, made the score 7-2, hitting a solo home run to center for his first home run as a Catamount. Furman answered in the top of the sixth on a solo home run by Betsill, his second on the season and making the score 7-3.
After Western loaded the bases with no outs in the bottom of the sixth, Edick drew a walk to drive in Kilmer and keep the bases loaded. Greenwood followed with a sacrifice fly to left, plating Roper. Sigmon then grounded out. However, on the play, the Cats had a base running error. Davis, though, would end up scoring on the play thanks to a Paladin throwing error. For the inning, Western put three runs on the board, making the score 10-3.
Furman capped the scoring in the top of the ninth. Cassedy, who went 4-for-4 on the day, singled on the first pitch of the inning. but was retired at second on an A.J. Davidiuk fielder's choice. The Paladins then sent three consecutive pinch hitters to the plate. Davidiuk, who had moved to second on a wild pitch, advanced to third on a Matt Madison ground out. Sam McLain followed with an RBI single through the left side. William Stembridge could not keep the rally going, grounding out to second to end the contest.
In addition to McGowan, Kilmer and Zollman each had two hits, while Davis joined McGowan by having two RBI on the day each. For the Paladins, Mitchell (2-4) took the loss. He pitched five-plus innings, allowing 10 hits and nine runs (six earned) with two walks and five strikeouts.
Western Carolina and Furman will conclude their three-game series on Sunday at 2 pm.