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Catamount Baseball Powers Past Tennessee Tech, 18-7

Jeremy Null earned his sixth win of the season, striking out eight in WCU's 18-7 win over Tennessee Tech (Photo by Mark Haskett)

May 3, 2013

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Cullowhee, N.C. - Western Carolina scored runs in all but two innings in which it took swings on Friday night, powering past visiting Tennessee Tech, 18-7, in nonconference action at Childress Field / Hennon Stadium. The Catamounts pounded out 17 hits including eight for extra bases with eight different players recording RBIs in stretching their current winning streak to four.

Playing most of Friday night's game amidst a gusting wind and sporadic rain showers, officials at WCU have altered Saturday's schedule, moving first pitch of game two of the two-game set to 11:00 am in Cullowhee. Fans can follow all of the action online with live GameTracker (free) and live video streaming (subscription) through Catamount All-Access.

Entering the weekend leading the nation in doubles, the Catamounts added to their seasonal totals with six, two-bag hits in the winning effort. Sophomore Jacob Hoyle was one of five Catamounts with a multiple hit game - and one of three to collect three hits on the night. The Hickory, N.C., native legged out a career-high three doubles, driving in two runs in the process in a 3-for-4 showing.

Senior Tyler White doubled once in his 3-for-6 performance while junior Aaron Attaway was a home run shy of the cycle in a 3-for-6 outing. Attaway singled in the first inning, hit a triple in the fourth and doubled in the eighth inning, finishing with three runs scored.

In the bottom two spots in the lineup on Friday, juniors Luke Gragg and Cody Jones combined to hit 4-for-8 with three runs scored and eight runs driven in. Gragg recorded his third double of the season and finished with three RBI while Jones eradicated some of his recent offensive woes by belting his third home run of the season - a three-run shot in the eighth inning - in amassing a career-high five RBI on a 2-for-4 showing at the dish.

Also, junior catcher Adam Martin drove in three runs for the Catamounts, finishing 1-for-2 with a walk.

On the mound, sophomore starter Jeremy Null (6-2) worked around seven hits in his six-inning outing, striking out eight without a walk to score the victory. The Claremont, N.C., native stranded five Golden Eagle base runners during his time on the hill. Relievers Bryce Danielson and Colton Davis each tossed an inning out of the bullpen with Danielson walking and striking out one in hitless, scoreless relief while Davis struck out the side in allowing one run on a hit.

WCU used four relievers in the ninth inning alone as four walks, five wild pitches and two throwing errors led to five Tennessee Tech runs. Dylan Bosheers tallied the only hit in the late inning rally with Austin Wulf driving home one of the Golden Eagle runs on a sacrifice fly to left field.

All told, four of the five runs scored were unearned.

Right-handers Danny Schneider and Thomas Young both recorded a strikeout among the three batters they faced before senior Jon Nadale came on to secure the final out, striking out left fielder Tevis Sherfield looking to end the game.

Western Carolina (32-17) jumped out with two runs in the home half of the first inning, marking the 21st time this season the Catamounts have scored in the opening frame. The home squad added to its lead with runs in four-consecutive frames including three in the third, two in both the fourth and fifth and a four-spot in the bottom of the sixth inning. WCU capped its scoring with five runs in the bottom of the eighth inning, all scoring after a throwing error that would have ended the inning.

The Golden Eagles answered WCU's five-run bottom of the eighth with five of their own in the top of the ninth, capitalizing on Catamount miscues.

Tennessee Tech starter Tristan Archer (7-4) took the loss, surrendering six runs on seven hits with one walk and three strikeouts - all coming when he fanned the side in the second inning. Jacob Honea struck out one against one walk in two innings of work, giving up three earned runs on three hits with Justin Alexander and Byron Skinner combining for the final three innings of work. Skinner struck out two and allowed five unearned runs on four hits.

The final game of the two-game series will be played Saturday morning with an 11:00 am first pitch.