April 21, 2010
Cullowhee, N.C. - Western Carolina pitching issued a combined 12 walks while Tennessee hitters pounded out 20 base hits including eight for extra bases as the Volunteers avenged an earlier home loss to the Catamounts with an 18-8 road victory Wednesday night in nonconference baseball action at Childress Field / Hennon Stadium.
Tennessee's 20 hits were the most allowed by a Catamount squad since Elon tallied 26 back on May 9, 2009, while the 18 runs were the most surrendered by WCU this season.
Western Carolina (23-12-1) rallied from an early, 2-0, deficit to claim a 3-2 advantage after one inning, and used a five-run home half of the third to take an 8-7 lead in which it held through the fourth. However, the Volunteers took the lead for good with a two-spot in the top of the fifth and hung nine runs on WCU between the seventh and eighth for the 10-run victory.
After rapping out seven hits through the first three frames, the Catamounts were held to just one hit from the fourth through the eighth - a single up the middle by Tyler White in the seventh - before tacking on two base knocks in the ninth.
Eight Catamount pitchers worked the nine-inning affair, none lasting longer than three and two thirds innings. Kyle Stewart (1-2) relieved starter Vance Chavis after just one inning and five runs on four hits with a walk and a strikeout for Chavis. Stewart tossed the next three and two thirds, surrendering four runs on five hits with five walks against four strikeouts.
Also tossing for WCU were freshmen Jeremy Sluder, Mat Batts, Preston Hatcher and Adam Curtis, with junior Andrew Chilcoat facing one batter and sophomore Cameron Dullnig, who started the game in right field throwing the ninth allowing just one base runner on a single.
After spotting Tennessee (19-19) a 2-0 lead after the top of the first, Western Carolina used a pair of RBI singles around a sacrifice fly to left by Ollie Goulder to take its first lead of the game, 3-2.
Ross Heffley, who finished 2-for-4 to pace the Catamounts in the first mid-week loss of the season, doubled to right center to open the home half of the third inning with WCU trailing, 6-3. An RBI single by Austin Schultz and a two-run double down the left field line off the bat of Trevor Collias scored three of the first four runs of the inning. Matt Johns capped the scoring with an RBI ground out as WCU surged in front of the Volunteers, 8-7, with the five-run frame.
White and Heffley were the only two Catamount hitters with multiple hits in the home defeat.
Conversely, six Vols tallied multiple hits in the win as Khayyan Norfork went 2-for-3 with a double and a home run, scoring three times, with Cody Hawn finishing 3-for-5, also with a two-bagger and a round-tripper, scoring twice and driving in a game-high five. Blake Forsythe was also 3-for-5 with four RBI, drilling a two-run double in the seventh and leading off the third with a solo home run to left as UT went up 7-3.
Reliever Nick Blount (2-2) earned the win for Tennessee after silencing the Catamount bats, limiting WCU to just one hit with a strikeout in four and two thirds innings of work after starter Alan Walden and first relief pitcher, Rob Catapano, allowed eight runs on seven hits. The relief tandem of Josh Allman and Steve Crnkovich worked the final two innings with the latter allowing two hits against two strikeouts.
Western Carolina opens a four-game road swing through the state of Georgia beginning with the three-game tilt in Southern Conference play at Georgia Southern this Friday through Sunday. First pitch of Friday night's game is scheduled for 7:00 pm, with Saturday's start at 2:30 pm and 1:30 pm on Sunday.
All three games will be broadcast by the Catamount Sports Network and can be heard online at www.CatamountSports.com with the Carolina Ford Dealers Pre-game Show starting 15 minutes prior to first pitch.