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Catamount Diamond Notes: Weekly Wrap-Up, March 12

March 12, 2018


Season Record: 1-14 overall (L-11)

Last Week:
Tues., March 6 -- L, vs. Marshall, 12-8 -- Cullowhee, N.C.
Fri., March 9 -- L, vs. Ball State, 7-4; L, vs. Ball State, 20-8 -- Cullowhee, N.C.
Sat., March 10 -- L, vs. Ball State, 9-8 -- Cullowhee, N.C.

Games This Week:
Wed., March 14 -- at Tennessee -- Knoxville, Tenn. -- 4:00 pm - CSN Updated Start Time
Fri., March 16 -- vs. Kent State -- Childress Field / Hennon Stadium -- 5:00 pm - SDN
Sat., March 17 -- vs. Kent State -- Childress Field / Hennon Stadium -- 3:00 pm - SDN
Sun., March 18 -- vs. Kent State -- Childress Field / Hennon Stadium -- 1:00 pm - SDN

* NOTE: Be sure to keep track of any weather-related schedule changes online at CatamountSports.com or through WCU Athletics' social media outlets on Facebook (fb.com/catamountsports) and Twitter (@catamounts or @WCUCatamountBSB).

Catamount Baseball Diamond Notes:
- Western Carolina is currently mired in its longest consecutive-game losing skid in program history with 11-straight losses with records dating back to 1969 ... This spring's winless drought usurps the previous program long of eight-straight defeats that spanned Feb. 27-March 10 of the 2000 season, the first under former head coach Todd Raleigh ... the 2000 Catamounts opened the year 4-15 before posting a 15-38 regular season mark, the second-fewest seasonal wins for WCU since moving to NCAA Division I;

- To speak to the program's success over the past 11 seasons under Moranda, this year's 11-game losing skid is nearly twice as long as the previous long of six-straight losses during the 2011 season that included home losses to Clemson, San Diego State, and dropping 2-of-3 at Appalachian State;

- The fewest victories for a WCU baseball team in the NCAA Division I era -- which began in 1977 -- was 13 back in 1979 ... that team only played 28 total games, finishing 13-15;

 

 

- This year's start marks the slowest to a season under head coach Bobby Moranda, who is WCU's all-time winningest head coach with 313 career wins in Cullowhee ... the only comparable start was a 2-11 opening to the 1989 season under former head coach Jack Leggett ... the '89 Catamounts rallied to finish 10-5 in the Southern Conference, winning both the regular season and tournament titles -- the last of a tremendous run of five-consecutive tourney crowns for WCU;

- WCU freshman Justice Bigbie led the team in the four home losses last week with a .563 batting average, hitting 9-for-16 with his first career home run against Ball State and a team-high tying six RBI ... Bigbie boasted an on-base percentage of .611, adding two walks, and scored four runs ... the Chesapeake, Va., native had three multi-hit games and multiple RBIs twice on the week;

- Entering the week, WCU is being led by Bigbie who boasts a team-high .380 batting average which ranks him among the SoCon leaders -- and the tops among freshmen in the league;

- Redshirt junior Matthew Koehler currently ranks tied for first in the Southern Conference with five home runs, matching both Le Bassett of Mercer and Mack Nathanson of Wofford;

- Freshman RHP Zach Franklin ranks fourth in the SoCon in overall ERA at 2.35 through his first five career appearances and 15.1 innings pitched;

This Week in Catamount Baseball:
- Western Carolina hits the road out of conference play on Wednesday as it travels to Knoxville, Tenn., to face the Tennessee Volunteers in the front-end of a home-and-home ... Updated start time at Lindsey Nelson Stadium is now 4:00 pm ... WCU then returns home for a three-game weekend series against Kent State (7-5) -- WCU's final nonconference weekend series before the start of Southern Conference play;

- Western Carolina and Tennessee meet for the 26th time all-time in baseball on Wednesday night ... WCU trails in the all-time series, 5-20 -- a mark that includes one meeting in NCAA post-season play back in 1994 ... the Volunteers have won three-straight over WCU dating back to 2010 -- and four of the last five games overall dating back to 2009 ... the Catamounts' last victory over Tennessee came in Knoxville on April 7, 2010 (W, 14-9);

- Kent State was tabbed the preseason favorite of the Mid-American Conference (MAC), collecting eight of a possible 10 first-place votes -- and the Golden Flashes have won either a MAC regular season or tournament championship in 10 of the last 11 years and have won 30-or-more games in 19-consecutive seasons with just one, sub-.500 season since 1981 ... the Golden Flashes come to Cullowhee after dropping 2-of-3 at No. 7 Arkansas last weekend ... All 12 of Kent State's games to date have been played on the road as a part of a scheduled 15-game road swing to open the season;

- Western Carolina trails in the all-time series against Kent State, 5-6, with meetings dating back to 1992 -- a 14-1 Catamount victory in the NCAA South II Regional in Tallahassee, Fla. ... WCU and Kent State meet in baseball for the third-consecutive year -- it's also the second-straight season that WCU has hosted the Golden Flashes in Cullowhee, dropping 2-of-3 at home a year ago ... the Catamounts are just 1-3 all-time in meetings held in Cullowhee.

The Last Meeting
Western Carolina2
Tennessee6
April 16, 2014
Knoxville, Tenn.
Western Carolina Baseball Falls to No. 29 Tennessee, 6-2
No. 29 Tennessee used three, two-run innings to build a lead its bullpen maintained over the final five frames as four Volunteer pitchers held the potent Catamount lineup hitless after the fourth inning on Wednesday night as Western Carolina dropped a 6-2 decision at Lindsey Nelson Stadium in nonconference action.

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