May 1, 2010
Cullowhee, N.C. - A two-run rally by UNC Greensboro in the eighth lifted the Spartans to a, 5-3, victory over Western Carolina on Saturday afternoon at Childress Field / Hennon Stadium.
The Catamounts (26-15-1, 9-10-1 SoCon) tied the game at three in the seventh with a Ross Heffley RBI single to left field, allowing second baseman Matt Johns to score. UNCG answered with a two-run spot in the eighth and sealed the win as the Spartans set up a rubber-match contest for Sunday.
Tyler Kirkpatrick led the Catamounts with a 2-for-4 afternoon, a double with a run scored. Freshman Bryant Noteboom recorded his first collegiate hit as he completed the contest 2-for-4 with a run.
Saturday hurler Matt Benedict (6-1) took his first loss of the season after fanning four Spartans, but giving up five runs, three earned, on seven hits in seven and a third innings pitched.
WCU went up 1-0 in the fourth after Trevor Collias hit a sacrifice fly to centerfield, allowing Kirkpatrick to score.
UNC Greensboro answered with a two-run tally in the fifth as Ed Jackjack hammered his sixth homerun of the year to lead off the inning. Ray Quinones added the second run by scoring from a passed ball to make it a, 3-1, UNCG advantage.
Johns' groundout in the fifth allowed Noteboom to score, cutting WCU's deficit to 3-2. The Cats' loaded the bases in the sixth, but were unable to push a run across home plate. Heffley tied the game at 3-3 in the home-half of the seventh with a RBI single to left. He finished the afternoon 1-for-4 with an RBI.
The Spartans re-took the lead as Harry Slade reached on base due to a defensive miscue. A Corey Overholtzer double to right broke the tie, while Jayjack again answered with his third RBI of the day as UNCG took a 5-3 lead. Jayjack finished a perfect 4-for-4 at the plate with a home run, a run scored and three runs-batted-in.
Catamount reliever Brandon Johnson tossed an inning and two-thirds of relief, giving up just one hit during that span. Senior Dylan de Graaf also notched a multi-hit game as hit 2-for-4 in the contest.
UNC Greensboro starter Warren Slack improved to 3-8 after pitching a complete game, surrendering the runs on eight hits with seven strikeouts.
Western Carolina will look to clinch the series in Sunday's rubber match. The contest is slated for a 2 pm first pitch. Live coverage will be provided through GameTracker at CatamountSports.com.