April 17, 2012
Boiling Springs, N.C. - Solo home runs by Aaron Attaway and Julian Ridings staked Western Carolina to a 4-0 lead over Gardner-Webb Tuesday night. However, the Runnin' Bulldogs scored six unanswered runs to rally past the Catamounts, 6-4, at John Henry Moss Stadium.
Attaway, who finished 1-for-4 in the loss, drove the first pitch of the game over the fence in left center to stake the Catamounts to a 1-0 lead, with the Catamounts plating two in the third on an RBI double by Cody Jones and run-scoring single by Ross Heffley. An inning later, Ridings then belted his third round-tripper of the season to give WCU the 4-0 lead.
Scott Coleman went 4-for-4 with a solo home run to lead the Runnin' Bulldogs on Tuesday evening.
The Bulldogs started the rally a run in the bottom of the fourth with two in the fifth and sixth innings collectively to pull ahead for good.
Gardner-Webb cut into the lead in the bottom of the fourth, lacing four consecutive singles with one out. Brad Collins' base knock to centerfield drove home Dusty Quattlebaum to trim the lead to 4-1, but WCU starter Jon Nadale rolled a 6-4-3 double play one batter later to end the inning.
A walk by Danny Yelverton and an infield single by Zeke Blanton put runners at first and third in the bottom of the fifth, and Ryan Hodge plated Yelverton with a groundout to cut the lead to 4-2. John Harris followed with a sharp single to right and Blanton scored when the ball was bobbled in the outfield to trim the lead to 4-3. Quattlebaum stepped to the plate and ripped a line drive shot, but first baseman Tyler White snagged the ball and doubled Harris off at first to snuff out the rally.
The Runnin' Bulldogs took the lead in the bottom of the sixth when Brad Collins ripped a fastball deep over the fence in left for a two-run home run and a 5-4 edge.
Western Carolina got a leadoff single from White in the top of the eighth, and loaded the bases with two outs, but closer Adam Izokovic struck out Bradley Strong to end the threat, and the 'Dogs added to the lead in the bottom half.
Coleman hammered the first pitch he saw over the fence in left for his second home run of the year and a 6-4 score, adding some cushion late in the game. Izokovic made the lead stand in the top of the ninth, striking out Attaway and getting a pair of fly balls to end the game.
Relief pitcher Jeremy Sluder (1-1) suffered the loss after surrendering a two-run home run to Brad Collins in the sixth inning that gave the Runnin' Bulldogs a 5-4 advantage. Starter Jon Nadale factored in a no-decision after working five innings in the start, striking out three while allowing three runs, two earned.
Vance Chavis surrendered just his second extra base hit of the season on a solo home run to stretch the GWU lead to two, 6-4, working an inning and a third out of the bullpen while Preston Hatcher tossed two thirds of a frame with a strikeout.
WCU returns home to host UNC Asheville in midweek nonconference play on Wednesday night at Childress Field / Hennon Stadium. First pitch is scheduled for 5:00 pm.