May 14, 2006
Cullowhee, N.C. -
Western Carolina, who scored all of its runs with two outs, claimed a 9-7 victory Sunday afternoon at Childress Field/Hennon Stadium to complete a three-game sweep of Kennesaw State (22-29). The Catamounts, who got a scare with a grand slam in the seventh by the Owls, improve to 30-22, marking the fourth time in the last five years Western has had at least 30 wins. Western will return to action on Tuesday (May 16) at 3 pm, which is a change in the schedule, traveling to Johnson City, Tenn., to face East Tennessee State.
The Catamounts' top five hitters each had two hits in the contest with Jonathan Greene contributing three RBI, while Barrett Shaft and Steven Strausbaugh each drove in two. Bryan Tupper picked up the win, improving to 5-1. He left the game after six innings with WCU leading 8-2. He scattered eight hits over six complete innings, allowing two runs with zero walks and six strikeouts.
Western Carolina took early control, scoring three runs in the first. Tim Hallam had a leadoff single and moved to second on a sacrifice bunt. With two outs, Trey McDaniel delivered an RBI single to right before Greene cleared the bases with a two-run home run to left-center field for his ninth blast of the season.
The Catamounts did more two-out damage, scoring twice in the second. Mitchell Hatley had a two-out single, moved to second on Hallam's walk and scored on an RBI single to left-center by Shaft. Strausbaugh followed with an RBI double down the left field line.
The Owls got on the board in the third as Matt Nelson had a leadoff home run to left, marking his first home run of the season.
Western Carolina got that run back in the fifth thanks to a two-out, solo home run by Scott Ward, his second round-tripper of the season. However, Scott Hendrix answered in the top of the sixth with a leadoff, solo home run of his own. It marked the sixth homer of the year for Hendrix.
The Catamounts continued their two-out assault in the sixth. With two away, Hallam and Shaft had back-to-back doubles to give Western a 7-2 advantage, chasing KSU starter Micah Sales. trausbaugh welcomed new pitcher Jamie Spear with an RBI single to left.
Kennesaw State used back-to-back doubles by Andrew Martin and Matt Hopkins to start the seventh to cut into its deficit. Walks to Martin Baker and Jay Morrow chased WCU relief pitcher Brian McCullen and set the stage for a one-out Hendrix grand slam, making the score 8-7.
The home run by Hendrix snapped a streak of 13 consecutive scoreless innings by Catamount closer Greg Holland. That was the only run Holland allowed in three innings as he struck out five to earn his ninth save. With nine saves, Holland is now tied for second on the WCU single season saves list.
Western added an insurance run in the eighth. With two outs, Strausbaugh walked, moved to third on McDaniel's single and scored on Greene's single to right.
For the Owls, Hendrix was 3-for-5 with five RBI, while Robbins, Baker and Martin each had two hits. Micah Sales suffered the loss, falling to 2-1 on the season. He allowed 11 his and eight runs over 6.1 innings.