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Baseball Opens Three-Game Series at Georgia Southern on Friday

April 22, 2010

Statesboro, Ga. - Western Carolina returns to Southern Conference action on the diamond this weekend, opening a three-game series against Georgia Southern Friday night at 7:00 pm from J.I. Clements Stadium. Saturday's first pitch is slated for 2:30 pm, with Sunday's finale scheduled for 1:30 pm.

All three games will be broadcast on the Catamount Sports Network and can be heard online at Coverage will begin 15 minutes prior to the first pitch of each game.

After matching a season-long, five-game winning streak in the beginning of April, Western Carolina (23-13-1, 6-8-1 SoCon) has dropped four of its last six games including two in league play at Elon and most recently, an 18-8 loss at home to Tennessee and former skipper, Todd Raleigh. The Catamounts are comfortably in seventh place in the SoCon standings entering the three-game set, five games up on the final tournament transfer spot held by Furman (5-13) and three games in arrears of Appalachian State (9-8-1) with one more league series than the Mountaineers left to play.

Georgia Southern (21-17, 12-6 SoCon) has lost two-straight games entering the weekend, both coming at No. 3 Georgia Tech. Prior to the two mid-week defeats, the Eagles had won six-straight including taking two of three at Elon and sweeping second-place Samford in Statesboro.

For the second-time this week, the Catamounts will face a program alum and former head coach when it squares off with Georgia Southern. Eagles' head coach Rodney Hennon (1993) and top assistant, Mike Tidick (1994), both played for the Catamounts in the early `90s and coached in Cullowhee until making the move to GSU in 1998.

WCU trails in the all-time series with the Eagles, 40-49, dropping two of the three games in Cullowhee last season. The Catamounts were swept in their last appearance in Statesboro in 2008 after claiming the best-of-three series back in '07.

The Catamounts are slated to start freshman right-hander Taylor Sandefur in Friday night's opener. Sandefur will be making his fourth start of the season, first coming as a part of the weekend rotation. The Mechanicsville, Va., native earned his first career victory in a starting role against High Point back on March 31, tossing five innings and fanning two.



First pitch on Friday night is set for 7:00 pm.

Projected Pitching Match-Ups:
Friday: WCU - RHP Taylor Sandefur (1-0, 5.06 ERA) vs. GSU - LHP Jake Brown (5-4, 3.59 ERA)
Saturday: WCU - RHP Matt Benedict (5-0, 2.72 ERA) vs. GSU - RHP Matt Murray (3-1, 6.13 ERA)
Sunday: WCU - TBA vs. GSU - RHP Andy Moye (5-3, 4.71 ERA)