April 15, 2003
Cullowhee, N.C - Matt Nelson went 4-for-6 and Rod Goldston hit a two-run home run to lead Western Carolina to a 12-4 decision over Tennessee Tech Tuesday night at Childress Field/Hennon Stadium. The Catamounts improve to 24-12, while the Eagles fall to 14-16.
Western Carolina got on the board first with two runs in the bottom of the first, taking advantage of two infield hits and two Eagle errors. Nelson, who saw his first action was WCU's leadoff hitter, started the home half with a single up the middle and Wayne Kilmer followed with a single to shortstop. After Nelson was retired on Alan Beck's groundout, Kilmer faked a steal to third, but a throwing error allowed the junior to score. Beck later scored when Denver Edick reached on an error by the Tennessee Tech third baseman.
The Catamounts made it a 3-0 game with a single run in the bottom of the second. Western's first three batters reached via a walk, a hit batter and bunt single. Kilmer followed with a sacrifice fly to right, plating Brian Sigmon.
In the top of the third, Tennessee Tech shortstop Casey Benjamin led off with a single, but was cut down by Beck trying to stretch it into a double. The Cats nearly made it two in a row, but Ryan Hay was able to slide in under the tag at second for a double. Hay later scored on when Carlos Martin reached on a fielding error at third. The Eagles loaded the bases, but Derrick Hawk escaped with just one unearned run to his credit.
Western sent 10 men to the plate in the bottom of the fourth, scoring five runs on six hits to make the score 8-1. The inning featured an RBI single by Nelson, an RBI single and a two-run home run by Goldston, marking his third blast of the season.
TTU cut its deficit to 8-2 when Benjamin scored in the top of the fifth, thanks to a Catamount error and a pair of balks by relief pitcher Alex Obert. The Eagles then made the score 8-3 with a single run in the top of the seventh. Hay reached on a one-out walk, advanced to second on a wild pitch and scored on a double by Scott Terry.
The Catamounts put the game out of reach in the bottom of the eighth, scoring four runs on three hits. The frame was highlighted with a three-run double by Brett Kasten.
Despite a striking out three batters in the ninth, Joe Camac still allowed one run to score as Terry struck out, but reached first on a wild pitch, allowing Benjamin to score for the 8-4 final.
Obert (1-0) pitched the middle three innings and picked up the win. It was the sophomore's first win of the season as well as the first of his career. He only allowed one hit and one unearned run, while striking out a career-high four and walking just one. Camac earned his first save of the season, pitching three effective innings of baseball. He recorded seven of his nine outs via strikeout to establish a career high and surrendered two hits, two runs and three walks.
In addition to Nelson's solid night, Kilmer was 3-for-4, Goldston was 2-for-5 and Kasten was 2-for-4 with a game-high three RBI.
Tennessee Tech was led by Benjamin (two hits), Hay (three hits) and Terry (three hits). Brian Driskell (0-3) was credited with the loss, allowing nine hits, eight runs (six earned) and four walks with three strikeouts.
Western Carolina will continue its seven-game homestand with a game versus Gardner-Webb on Wednesday (April 16). First pitch is set for 7 pm.