March 22, 2012
Cullowhee, N.C - Western Carolina opens a four-game home stand that includes a three-game Southern Conference series with UNC Greensboro this weekend on-campus at Childress Field / Hennon Stadium. First pitch on Friday evening is scheduled for 5:00 pm, with Saturday's game slated for 2:00 pm and Sunday's finale scheduled for 1:00 pm.
Fans can follow all three games of the weekend series online with live GameTracker. Both Friday and Sunday's games will feature streaming audio and video through Catamount All-Access (subscription required) online at www.CatamountSports.com.
WCU (15-6, 2-1 SoCon) returns to action in league play for the first time since taking two of three from The Citadel in Charleston, S.C., back on March 9-11. It was the first-time since 2006 that WCU had won its league-opening series when it came on the road. The Catamounts enter their SoCon home-opening series coming off Wednesday night's tough 3-1 loss in 12 innings to UNC Asheville at historic McCormick Field.
The Catamounts are ranked 19th in the most recent CollegeBaseballDaily.com Mid-Major top 25.
UNCG (12-8, 2-4 SoCon) comes to Cullowhee having won two if its last three including a mid-week win at home over Princeton, 6-3, on Wednesday night. The Spartans have split their first two SoCon series, taking the opener at Samford, 4-3, on March 9 before dropping the final two games of the series to the Bulldogs 8-2 and 10-1. UNCG won one against Georgia Southern, sandwiching the weekend with an 8-3 loss on Friday and 6-5 defeat on Sunday with a 12-9 win on Saturday.
The Catamounts have dropped five-straight to the Spartans in the head-to-head series which dates back to just 1992. UNCG swept the series in Greensboro last season marking the first three-game sweep by the Spartans over WCU since 2004. In 2010, after WCU won the opening game in Cullowhee, 11-10, UNCG managed to claim the series with a 5-3 Saturday win and a 14-2 rubber-match win on Sunday which matched the second-largest margin of victory by the Spartans over the Catamounts all-time.
Western Carolina continues to lead the SoCon with a .308 collective batting average while UNCG is fifth at .285, but lead the league with 25 home runs on the year including a SoCon-high tying nine from Trevor Edwards. On the hill, the Catamounts hold a 3.40 ERA as a pitching staff, while the Spartans' team ERA is 4.32.
First pitch on Friday is scheduled for 5:00 pm, move back from its original listing of 4:00 pm. Be sure to check CatamountSports.com for any weather-related changes.
Projected Weekend Pitching Match-ups:
Friday: WCU - RHP Jordan Smith (So., 3.26, 1-3) vs. UNCG - RHP Tyler Hollstegge (Jr., 3.66 ERA, 2-1)
Saturday: WCU - LHP Morgan McKinney (R-Jr., 3-1, 2.45) vs. LHP Corey Taylor (Jr., 3.47, 2-1)
Sunday: WCU - RHP Jeremy Null (Fr., 5.79, 3-0) vs. RHP Max Povse (Fr., 4.71, 1-2)