Julian Ridings hit the first of WCU's two, three-run home runs Wednesday at Kennesaw State.
May 1, 2013
Kennesaw, Ga. - Three Catamounts drove in three-runs apiece on Wednesday night as Western Carolina won the back-end of a two-game, midweek home-and-home, downing the Kennesaw State Owls, 9-3, in nonconference action at Stillwell Stadium. Aaron Attaway, Julian Ridings and Dykota Spies all recorded three RBI apiece in the winning effort.
WCU (31-17) swept the two-game series when coupling Wednesday night's victory with last Tuesday's 2-0 win over the Owls in Cullowhee. The Catamounts won their fourth-straight game and collected their 14th win in the last 16 games overall.
Junior outfielder Julian Ridings keyed a five-run third inning for WCU, belting a three-run home run to right field to break a scoreless tie. Later in the frame, Dykota Spiess doubled to centerfield with two outs to bring home two more runs as the Catamounts led 5-0 through three complete.
Spiess stretched the lead to six in the fifth inning with his second run-producing two-base hit. The Morganton, N.C., native drove a 1-0 pitch to left field to bring home Tyler White, who was plunked twice in the win to move him into fourth in school history with 38 HBP's in his four-year career.
Kennesaw State (22-25) trimmed the Catamount edge back to four runs with a two-spot in the bottom of the fifth as Andy Almonte doubled home a run with Bo Way delivering a two-out run-scoring single to make it 6-2.
The rally was short-lived, though, as Western Carolina responded in the top of the sixth inning, stretching its lead to a game-high seven runs. Luke Gragg reached on a bunt single with Cody Jones driving a single through the left side to put two aboard. Aaron Attaway then launched his team-high tying 10th home run over the fence in left to make it 9-2 in favor of the Catamounts.
Spiess, Gragg and Jacob Hoyle
all collected two hits apiece in the winning effort for WCU. Spiess doubled twice while Gragg and Hoyle both had two singles.
The Owls tacked on a run in the sixth inning on consecutive base hits to open the frame. Jacob Bruce led off with a triple to centerfield and was scored by the next batter, Kal Simmons, to provide the final tally.
Simmons led all hitters in the game with a 3-for-4 showing at the plate for Kennesaw State.
Taylor Sandefur tossed the first two innings in his first start since March 13, working out of a second inning jam that saw Kennesaw State put runners at second and third with just one out. The Mechanicsville, Va., product held the Owls scoreless while giving up three hits.
Senior Adam Curtis (3-1) was credited with the victory, surrendering three runs - only one of which was earned - on six hits through four relief innings. Freshman Jonathan Waszak tossed an inning with one hit and a strikeout ahead of left-handed reliever Bryce Danielson who also fanned one in an inning of work. Classmates Thomas Young and Colton Davis combined to finish the ninth, both striking out one to give WCU four K's as a staff.
Kennesaw State starter Nathan Harsh (1-3) suffered his second loss to WCU this season. He was tagged for five runs on four hits in three innings, walking two while recording six of the Owls' 11 strikeouts as a staff.
The Catamounts outhit the Owls, 11-to-10, on Wednesday night in the win. WCU was also able to take advantage of four hit batters and four walks issued by KSU pitching.
Western Carolina returns home this weekend to open a five-game home stand to wrap-up the 2013 regular season. The Catamounts host Tennessee Tech (32-12), a front-runner in the Ohio Valley Conference baseball race for a two-game, nonconference set this Friday and Saturday before breaking for final exams. WCU hosts Wofford May 10-12 in the final three-game home SoCon series.