April 28, 2010
Athens, Ga. - Tyler Kirkpatrick posted a 4-for-5 showing at the plate including a game-high five RBI and his team-leading 12th home run of the season, but it wasn't enough as Georgia used an eight-run bottom of the sixth inning to erase Western Carolina's five-run, 9-4, lead in downing the Catamounts, 13-10, Wednesday night in nonconference action at Foley Field.
Kirkpatrick gave WCU (25-14-1) an early 1-0 lead with a solo home run in the first inning, and then legged out a base-clearing, three RBI double in the third as the Catamounts climbed on top of the slumping Bulldogs, 4-2 through three. Tyler White singled and Dylan de Graaf doubled to score two runs in the fourth with a three-spot in the sixth handing Western Carolina a 9-4 advantage.
However, the Bulldogs scratched the scoreboard for eight runs in the home half of the sixth to seize control of the game. After a lead-off strikeout, back-to-back walks put two aboard before third-baseman Todd Hankins belted a three-run home run to centerfield trim the WCU lead to two, 9-7. Johnathan Taylor laid down an infield bunt single ahead of a second strikeout in the frame before second baseman Levi Hyams knotted the game with a two-run blast to center.
Taylor posted a four-hit performance in going 4-for-5 with two runs scored while Hankins and Hyams both finished 3-for-4 with three RBI apiece.
Georgia's rally continued with three additional runs coming home including one on a wild pitch and two on base hits giving the Bulldogs a 12-9 lead with both teams scoring a run in the eighth to provide the final tally.
In addition to Kirkpatrick's solid night at the plate, five other Catamounts recorded multi-hit games with Dylan de Graaf finishing 3-for-5 with a double and two runs driven in. Cameron Dullnig finished 2-for-3 after pinch hitting and subbing into right field, while Trevor Collias led three players with 2-for-5 outings including his 10th homerun of the year. Austin Schultz and Tyler White also rapped out two hits apiece for WCU.
Defensively, catcher Ollie Goulder threw out four would-be Bulldog base stealers through the first four innings. Conversely, the Catamounts swiped five bases including two by Dullnig with Collias, de Graaf and Schultz each adding one.
Freshman T.J. Page earned his first collegiate start on Wednesday, working two and two-thirds innings and scattering six hits with two runs allowed. He gave way to classmate Jeremy Sluder who surrendered two runs on three hits in an inning and a third. Andrew Chilcoat (1-1) was saddled with the loss after allowing four earned runs on three hits.
All told, the Catamounts used six pitchers which combined for 10 strikeouts including four by Blackwell, two by Page and Chavis and one by Stewart and Chilcoat.
Reliever Ben Cornwell (1-1) picked up the win after tossing an inning and two-thirds out of the bullpen, holding the Catamounts scoreless with just one base hit. Cooper Moseley picked up his fourth save of the season, striking out two against two base hits in closing out the ninth inning.
Western Carolina opens a three-game Southern Conference series against UNC Greensboro this Friday night at Childress Field / Hennon Stadium in Cullowhee with a special start time of 8:00 pm. The series continues with first pitch at 3:00 pm on Saturday and will conclude with a 2:00 pm start on Sunday afternoon.