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Early Offensive Explosion Leads Catamounts by Mountaineers, 20-10

Freshman LHP Bryan Sammons earned his seventh victory of the season, striking out six in five innings on Saturday. (Photo by Mark Haskett, WCU Public Relations)

May 3, 2014

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Cullowhee, N.C. - Western Carolina flexed its offensive muscle on Saturday afternoon, scoring 20 runs on a season-high 24 hits including 13 for extra bases in a 20-10 victory over archrival Appalachian State in Southern Conference action at Childress Field / Hennon Stadium. WCU scored all 20 of its runs in the first five frames on Saturday to take game two and win the best-of-three series over the Mountaineers.

The series finale - the last regular season meeting between Western Carolina and Appalachian State as members of the same conference - is scheduled for a 1:00 pm first pitch on Sunday afternoon.

Eight different Catamounts finished with multi-hit games with infielders Bradley Strong and J.D. Long leading the way for the Purple & Gold. Strong finished just a triple shy of his second cycle of the season, posting a 4-for-5 outing with a single, two doubles and home run while amassing a game-high six RBI. Long was likewise 4-for-5 with a pair of singles, a double and a triple, plating a career-best five runs.

Western Carolina (31-14, 15-4 SoCon) opened the scoring barrage early, sending nine batters to the plate in a nine-run first inning. SoCon RBI-leader Adam Martin got things going with a three-run home run over the fence in left field, one of the 10 hits - four for extra bases. Long drove in two on a triple down the right field line with Strong and Cody Jones plating runs on singles and Jacob Hoyle driving in one on a double.

Appalachian State (16-28, 9-10 SoCon) cut the deficit back to six after WCU's nine-run opener with a three-run top of the second inning. However, the Catamounts responded with a three-spot of their own in the home portion of the frame with Long driving in a run on a single before Strong collected his first two RBI on a double to left center to make it 12-3 through two complete.

WCU would add a single run in the third as Hoyle scored on a double by Luke Gragg before plating three more in the fourth inning. Long drove in two on a single and Strong again proved the catalyst with a two-run homer to right in the four-run fifth to make it 20-5. App State would add five runs over the final three frames to provide the final tally, 20-10.

Freshman Bryan Sammons (7-2) picked up the victory for the Catamounts, allowing five runs on eight hits while striking out six against three walks. The southpaw stranded nine Mountaineer base runners on bases. Classmate Nate Williams struck out two against three walks in two innings of work with relievers Bryce Danielson, Taylor Durand and Jonathan Waszak combining to close out the final two frames with Durand recording a strikeout.

The Mountaineers scored 10 runs on 15 hits including five extra base knocks. Michael Pierson doubled twice as a part of a 3-for-5 outing with three runs driven in with Preston Troutman plating two runners on a 2-for-5 showing. Dillon Dobson hit a solo home run for his lone hit of the game.

ASU starter Tyler Moore (8-3) suffered the loss after giving up nine runs - only three of which were earned after two costly first-inning errors - on 10 base hits.

Post-Game Notes:
- Western Carolina legged out a season-best 10 doubles on Saturday afternoon as a part of a season-best 24 hits ... WCU's previous season-high for base hits was 21 against La Salle (3/2/14) ... 13 of WCU's 24 hits went for extra bases (10 doubles, triple, two home runs);

- Adam Martin hit his 10th home run of the season, all coming inside the friendly confines of Childress Field / Hennon Stadium in Cullowhee ... He finished with four RBI on the day to stretch his seasonal total to a Southern Conference-leading, 54;

- Martin finished the day 3-for-6, stretching his successfully reached streak to a career-long tying 16-consecutive games;

- One day after collecting his first career home run, sophomore infielder J.D. Long matched his career-high with four hits (4-for-5) including a double and a triple ... Long also collected a career-best five RBI ... Also having a career day was freshman Matt Smith who tallied a career-high two doubles.