May 1, 2010
Cullowhee, N.C. - Matt Johns' walk-off RBI single to left field in the bottom of the ninth capped a six-run rally as Western Carolina topped UNC Greensboro, 11-10, on Friday evening at Childress Field / Hennon Stadium.
The Catamounts (26-14-1, 9-9-1 SoCon) used their second consecutive six-run rally in conference play to down the Spartans (18-24, 5-17 SoCon), while extending their conference win streak to three games. The contest lasted into the early minutes of Saturday morning as the game was officially fours and seven minutes.
WCU trailed 10-5 after five complete innings, but a Ross Heffley home run in the eighth evened the contest at 10-10. Johns scorched a ball to left center as Dylan de Graaf tallied the game-winner.
Johns finished the evening 2-for-6 with a run and a RBI, while Heffey was 2-for-5 with a home run, run scored and two runs batted in. Reliever Brandon Johnson secured with win after tossing two hitless frames with two strikeouts. Johnson, a junior from Morehead City, N.C., improved to 5-1 on the season.
Junior Austin Schultz nailed a lead-off homerun in the top of the first to give the Catamounts the early 1-0 lead. The homer was Schultz's sixth of the year as he hit 2-for-4 with two runs, two RBI in the contest.
WCU added another pair of runs in the inning after Trevor Collias and Johns rounded homeplate after a UNCG defensive miscue. Schultz finished the evening with a 2-for-4 day with a pair of runs and two walks.
The Catamounts retook the lead, 5-3, in the third as Heffley scored an unearned run. Collias added another unearned run after de Graaf reached on base with a fielder's choice.
UNC Greensboro added seven runs in the fourth and fifth innings to take a five-run lead until the Catamounts responded in the sixth. Schultz's triple to right center field drove in de Graaf, who reached on a base with a wild pitch. The Catamounts added another two runs as Collias singled through the left side to drive in Schultz. Tyler Kirkpatrick scored an unearned run due to a fielding error to cut the gap to 10-8.
Heffley jacked his tenth home run of the season in the eighth inning to left field to tie the contest at 10-10. de Graaf stroked a two-out double in the ninth. Schultz would then walk, setting up Johns' game-winning single to left.
Freshman starter Taylor Sandefur tossed two and a third innings, giving up three runs, two earned, on three walks. Kyle Stewart came on in relief giving up just a run in one inning tossed. Jeremy Sluder and Vance Chavis relieved Stewart in the next inning and a third, giving up a combined five earned runs. White Hall, Md., native Andrew Chilcoat allowed a run on two hits in two and a third innings.
UNCG starter Blake Hasselbrock gave up just three earned runs, but a total of five unearned Catamount runs in the no-decision. The junior righty struckout seven and walked four in five and two-thirds tossed.
Zach Furl took the loss for the Spartans by surrendering three earned runs on four hits in three innings pitched. Ray Quinones led UNCG with a 2-for-5 person with three runs-batted-in.
Western Carolina will resume the three-game series on Saturday afternoon at 3 pm. Live GameTracker will be available online at CatamountSports.com.