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Catamount Diamond Notes: Weekly Wrap-up, April 15

Western Carolina swept Samford over the weekend. Adam Martin went 4-for-4 on Saturday and applied a tag at home plate on a strike thrown by Cody Jones from right field in Sunday's finale. (Photo by Mark Haskett)

April 15, 2013

Last Week: 3-1
Tuesday - Loss vs. #17 Clemson, 12-9 in Cullowhee
Friday - Win vs. Samford, 9-8 in Cullowhee
Saturday - Win vs. Samford, 21-7 in Cullowhee
Sunday - Win vs. Samford, 5-2 in Cullowhee

This Week:
Wednesday - Home vs. Gardner-Webb, 5:00 pm
Friday - Home vs. Georgia Southern, 5:00 pm
Saturday - Home vs. Georgia Southern, 4:00 pm
Sunday - Home vs. Georgia Southern, 1:00 pm

Fans can follow all four home games this week with live video streaming (subscription) through Catamount All-Access and live GameTracker (free) online at

Catamount Diamond Notes:
- Western Carolina is amidst of a season-long home stand, playing nine-straight home games from April 9 through April 23;

- WCU posted a 3-1 record last week, falling at home to #17 Clemson before recording its first three-game series sweep of the season - and its first-ever sweep of Samford - in Cullowhee ... WCU taking three games from Samford was one of just two SoCon series sweeps this weekend as The Citadel also took all three games against Georgia Southern in Statesboro;

- WCU's three wins moved the Catamounts atop the Southern Conference standings, currently tied with Elon with matching 12-6 overall records ... Elon holds the tie-breaker by virtue of taking two-of-three games in Cullowhee earlier this season;

- On Tuesday, WCU erased a six-run deficit with a six-run seventh inning against the nationally-ranked Tigers ... However, Clemson plated three in the top of the ninth inning to rally past WCU for a 12-9 win, halting WCU's two-game win streak as the Catamounts swept the regular season series a year ago ... Prior to the game, WCU's Morgan McKinney was recognized as the Leggett No. 7 Legacy recipient, meeting at home plate with the man whom the award is named, Clemson skipper, Jack Leggett;



- WCU tallied a walk-off win on Friday after losing a five-run lead in the top of the ninth inning ... the win halted a five-game winless drought against Samford dating back to the 2011 season ... the Catamounts took the series on Saturday by pounding out 18 hits and capitalizing on 11 walks by Bulldog pitching in a 21-7 rout ... It was the second-time in the brief 16-game series history that WCU had scored 20-or-more runs in a winning effort (W, 26-5 in Cullowhee in 2009) ... WCU closed out the three-game sweep with a 5-2 win on Sunday afternoon, scoring three in the fifth and tacking on insurance runs in the eighth;

- Junior Julian Ridings led Western Carolina offensively on the week by hitting .579 (11-of-19) with a team-high eight runs scored ... Five of his 11 hits went for extra bases including three doubles and two home runs, amassing a 1.053 slugging percentage ... Posted multiple hits in all four games including three in each game with the Bulldogs ... Walked twice to help bolster his on-base percentage at .591 ... Looking solely at the Samford weekend series, hit .643 (9-of-14) with seven runs scored, amassing a 1.214 slugging percentage ... In Friday's win, fell just a triple shy of the cycle in a 3-for-3 outing, also delivering a sacrifice fly.

- Western Carolina hit .388 as a team last week including posting .409 collective average in its three-game sweep of Samford ... the Catamounts had 22 extra base hits including 17 doubles and five home runs while its two opponents - #17 Clemson and Samford - combined for nine extra base hits with four doubles, four homers and one triple ... All told, WCU out-slugged its opponents .599-to-.442;

- Thanks in large part to last weekend's offensive explosion, WCU has moved to third in the Southern Conference in team batting average at .296;

- Led by Ridings at .579, six Catamounts hit .400-or-better on the week ... Tyler White finished 9-for-19 (.474) with three doubles and a home run, driving in a team-best eight ... Bradley Strong was 7-for-15 (.467) with a couple of doubles and five RBI ... Adam Martin matched a single-game career-high with a perfect 4-for-4 performance on Saturday, belting his first homer of the season - he combined to hit .462 (6-for-13) on the week with four RBI ... Austin Neary played as a reserve in three games last week, finishing 3-for-7 (.429) with all three hits going as doubles with two RBI ... and Jacob Hoyle hit .412 (7-for-17) with three doubles and six RBI;

- On the hill, junior RHP Jordan Smith collected his first victory since the season-opening series against Washington State, tossing eight solid innings with a season-high seven strikeouts in Sunday's finale ... Smith has tossed at least six and a third innings in his last five starts with at least four strikeouts each time out during that span ... Over the past five starts, his ERA has dropped from 5.73 to its current 3.99.

Look at Remaining SoCon Games for Top Five (Record as of 4/15/13):
Elon (12-6): vs. WOF (6-12); at GSU (10-8); vs. APP (10-7); at SAM (8-10)
Western Carolina (12-6): vs. GSU (10-8); at UNCG (5-10); vs. WOF (6-12); at APP (10-7)
Col. of Charleston (11-6): vs. FUR (7-11); at WOF (6-12); at CIT (9-6); vs. GSU (10-8)
Appalachian State (10-7): at CIT (9-6); vs. SAM (8-10); vs. ELON (12-6); vs. WCU (12-6)
The Citadel (9-6): vs. APP (10-7); at FUR (7-11); vs. DAV (5-13); vs. CofC (11-6); at UNCG (5-10)

Catamount Career Charts Watch:
- WCU closer Preston Hatcher earned his eighth save of the season on Sunday giving him 18 for his four-year career ... He moved into a tie for SEVENTH in WCU's single-season record book with the eight saves and is now FIFTH all-time in WCU's career record books by-passing Ward Withrow who had 16 saves from 1987-88 ... Hatcher is just one save shy of current Kansas City Royal pitcher Greg Holland's three-year record of 19 for fourth ... WCU's career record holder is Ryan Foster who had 22 saves from 2000-2003;

- Hatcher additionally moved into a three-way tie for 11th in school history with 75 career appearances ... He is tied with former hurlers Rob Hoover (1998-2002) and Chris Waters (1995-98);

- Senior infielder Tyler White has moved into 12th place in WCU's record books for doubles, now with 53 in his career ... He by-passed former Catamounts Nick Liles (2007-09) and Todd Buchanan (2000-03) ... White additionally ranks ninth in career at bats with 793; 17th with 252 career base hits; tied for sixth with Blake Murphy (2004-08) in hit by pitches (HBP) with 34; and is tied for fifth in sacrifice flies with 12, matching Ross Heffley (2009-12) and Blake Murphy (2004-08);

- Junior RHP Jordan Smith moved into 17th in the school ledgers for career strikeouts with 180, by-passing Matt Benedict (19th with 174 K's2008-11) and Joe Jack Sellers (18th with 178 K's 1992-95) ... Next on the list is Seth Foster (181 K's from 2000-03) ... Smith's 38 career starts over the last three seasons rank him tied for 12th on the career ledger, tied with Ken Hare (38 from 1980, 82-84).

This Week in Catamount Baseball:
- Western Carolina plays four games this week with one midweek game against the Gardner-Webb Runnin' Bulldogs on Wednesday night before hosting Georgia Southern in SoCon play this weekend;

- WCU's Wednesday night game against the Gardner-Webb Runnin' Bulldogs is the back-end of a nonconference seasonal home-and-home ... WCU rallied with four runs in the top of the ninth inning to pull out a 5-2 road win over Gardner-Webb back on March 27;

- The Catamounts then host Rodney Hennon - a former player (1990-93) and head coach (1998-99) - and his Georgia Southern Eagles for a three-game set in Cullowhee this weekend ... the Catamounts look to halt a two-game slide against GSU, going 1-2 in the three-game set a year ago ... WCU has not won a home series over GSU since 2007, dropping two of three at Childress Field / Hennon Stadium in both the 2009 and 2011 seasons;

- Western Carolina's game times this weekend are 5:00 pm on Friday with a special 4:00 pm first pitch on Saturday as the Catamount football team holds its annual Spring Game event at E.J. Whitmire Stadium / Bob Waters Field at 1:00 pm ... Sunday's series finale is scheduled for 1:00 pm.

Western Carolina's Projected Starting Pitching Rotation:
Wed. - Senior LHP Adam Curtis (1-1, 4.37 ERA) - 6.0 IP vs. Gardner-Webb on the road, 5 K's
Fri. - Sophomore RHP Jeremy Null (3-2, 4.28 ERA) - 4-or-more K's in all eight seasonal starts
Sat. - R-Senior LHP Morgan McKinney (2-2, 3.76 ERA) - series clinching win vs. Samford, 7.0 IP
Sun. - Junior RHP Jordan Smith (2-3, 3.99 ERA) - scored first win since Feb. 16 last Sunday vs. Samford