May 26, 2010
Box Score |
Charleston, S.C. - Sixth seeded Western Carolina built an 11-2 lead by scoring runs in all but three innings and had every player record at least one hit as the Catamounts topped No. 3 seed Georgia Southern 11-4 in game two of the 2010 Bennett Hofford Southern Conference Baseball Championship presented by Carolina Ford Dealers.
WCU, which improved to 35-19-1 matching the most wins under third-year head coach Bobby Moranda, will take on No. 2 seed College of Charleston Thursday night in the winner's bracket. First pitch will be at approximately 9:00 pm with No. 1 The Citadel facing No. 4 Elon in the early game of the evening session.
Junior Matt Benedict (9-1) picked up the win, allowing just two earned runs on 10 hits in 7.2 innings of work. He fanned seven batters against just one walk in the win. GSU starter Jake Brown (7-6) took the loss for the Eagles, surrendering eight runs, six of which were earned, on eight hits, striking out two.
Offensively for the Catamounts, senior Dylan de Graaf led the squad by going 3-for-4 at the plate with a triple, driving in three and two runs scored. Junior Matt Johns tallied two hits including a two-run home run to center while also scoring twice. Sophomore Ross Heffley and catcher Ollie Goulder each notched two hits for WCU which downed Georgia Southern for the third time this season.
After falling behind 1-0 in the bottom of the first, WCU scored nine runs over four innings to take an 11-2 lead heading into the bottom of the ninth. GSU added two runs, but junior Andrew Chilcoat was able to get A.J. Wirnsberger to ground out to second and clinch the victory for the Catamounts.
Down 1-0, Cameron Dullnig blasted his first career home run over the fence in left field to tie things at one. The San Antonio, Texas, native added a pair of sacrifice bunts in the win, finishing 1-for-3.
In the top of the fourth the Catamounts extended their lead to five. Dylan de Graaf tripled to left center to open the frame and was plated by shortstop Austin Schultz, who singled through the left side. Johns was up next at the plate and hit a round-tripper to center field scoring Schultz.
First baseman Kyle Blackburn led off the bottom of the fourth with a double. He would eventually score on a wild pitch and pull the Eagles back within four.
The Catamounts responded in the top of the fifth, tacking on three runs to extend their lead to seven. Trevor Collias drilled a shot to short before coming home on a RBI groundout by freshman Tyler White who went 1-for-4 with a walk and the RBI. A single through the left side by de Graaf plated Goulder. With the bases loaded, three runners advanced on a wild pitch, including de Graaf who crossed home plate.
In the top of the eighth de Graaf connected again, this time flying out to right field and plating Dullnig to give the Catamounts a nine-run advantage.
Outfielder Victor Roache hit a solo shot to right center for the Eagles in the bottom of the ninth. A single by Blackburn scored Payne, and WCU was able to get the final out and end the game.
GSU committed two errors and left 10 players on base, while WCU stranded 11.
First baseman Kyle Blackburn went 4-for-5 for the Eagles with a team-leading two RBIs. Outfielder Shawn Payne registered two hits and scored two runs, while designated hitter Michael Burruss reached base twice.