May 24, 2013
Box Score |
Greenville, S.C. -
Middle inning woes plagued top-seeded Western Carolina as the Catamounts fell to fifth-seeded Appalachian State, 15-4, in Friday afternoon's elimination game at the 2013 Southern Conference Baseball Championship at Fluor Field. The Mountaineers pounded out 14 hits and scored multiple runs in five innings to advance.
Appalachian State (30-23) will face No. 4 seed The Citadel on Saturday at 10:00 am and needs to beat the Bulldogs twice to advance to Sunday's championship game. Western Carolina (39-20) saw its tournament run come to an end.
After the Catamounts took a 2-0 lead on Cody Jones' two-run single in the second inning, the Mountaineers ripped off 13 runs over the next four innings to grab control.
Appalachian State tied it with a pair of runs in the bottom of the second, then scored four in the third to go ahead. Third baseman William Head had a two-run single in the third frame.
The Mountaineer onslaught continued in the fourth as Appalachian State batted around to score five more runs. WCU used three pitchers in the frame, including senior All-American closer Preston Hatcher. Michael Pierson got the scoring started with an RBI single to right, and Jaylin Davis greeted Hatcher with an RBI fielder's choice to make it 8-1. Dillon Dobson and Head followed with consecutive RBI singles before Preston Troutman laid down a sacrifice bunt to score the fifth run of the inning.
Appalachian State added two more runs in the bottom of the fifth on Davis' sacrifice fly and Dobson's sac fly, making it 13-4. The Mountaineers tacked on two more runs in the eighth for the final margin.
Western Carolina scored single runs in the fourth on sixth, each time on Aaron Attaway RBI singles.
Dobson, went 4-for-4 with four runs scored to lead the Mountaineers at the plate. Head was 3-for-4 with three RBIs, while Troutman and Davis had three RBIs each. Senior Will Callaway went 0-for-4 to see his 27-game hitting streak - tied for the school record - come to an end in his hometown.
Attaway was 3-for-5 with two RBIs to pace Western Carolina, and Tyler White and Jones had two hits each. White scored his 27th double of the season in the losing effort, taking sole possession of WCU's single-season record for two-bag hits. The Forest City, N.C., native matched the single-season record held by Rod Goldston since 2003 earlier in the tournament.
Appalachian State reliever Tyler Moore (4-3) picked up the win with seven innings out of the bullpen. He limited the potent Catamount offense to just two runs (one earned) on seven hits in relief of starter Chad Farmer, who allowed a pair of runs in two-plus innings.
WCU starter Morgan McKinney (4-3) was charged with nine runs (seven earned) on six hits and four walks in three-plus innings. In addition to Hatcher, WCU also threw freshman Colton Davis and senior Adam Curtis with a second freshman, Alex Barr, tossing the final three and two thirds out of the bullpen with two strikeouts.