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'Celebration of Catamount Baseball' Approaching on May 19

May 1, 2012

Cullowhee, N.C. - Time is running out to reserve your spot at the third-annual "Celebration of Catamount Baseball" banquet which is scheduled for Saturday, May 19, 2012. The event, which will be held in the Grand Room of the on-campus A.K. Hinds University Center, will coincide with the conclusion of the final home Southern Conference series of the year against archrival, Appalachian State.

Western Carolina and head baseball coach Bobby Moranda will welcome home its alumni for the three-game, annual grudge match on the diamond between the Catamounts and the Mountaineers. The series is scheduled for Thursday, May 17 through Saturday, May 19 at Childress Field / Hennon Stadium.

On Saturday, first pitch is scheduled for 1:00 pm with cocktails in the Grand Room across campus slated for 6:00 pm. The banquet dinner and program will start promptly at 7:00 pm.

Wayne Tolleson, a former two-sport standout and WCU's first-ever Southern Conference Athlete of the Year in 1977-78, will be the keynote speaker at this year's event. Tolleson spoke at the first-ever event back in 2008, introducing his former coach, Bill Haywood, who ranks as the all-time winningest coach in WCU baseball history.

Tolleson, who played both football and baseball at Western Carolina, was twice drafted during his career in Cullowhee, selected in the 12th round of the 1977 draft by the Pittsburgh Pirates and a year later by the Texas Rangers in the eighth round with the 202nd overall pick. The Spartanburg, S.C., native played 10 seasons in the Majors including seasons with the Rangers, the New York Yankees and the Chicago White Sox.

WCU's "Celebration of Catamount Baseball" banquet is scheduled for Saturday, May 19, 2012



Tolleson is a member of both the Western Carolina Athletics and the South Carolina Hall of Fame, garnering induction into the previous in 1990 and the latter in 2010.

"It is a great honor to have such prestigious of alum in Wayne Tolleson joining us for our `Celebration of Catamount Baseball'," said Moranda, who is in his fifth season in Cullowhee. "Wayne has been a tremendous supporter of our Catamount baseball program, and it is always great to have him back in Cullowhee."

The cost to attend this year's "Celebration of Catamount Baseball" is $100 per person, or $700 a table (8 people per table). All proceeds from the dinner going directly into the "1002 Club," which will help subsidize the baseball operations fund. Dress is business casual.

The first-ever "Celebration of Catamount Baseball" banquet was on Feb. 9, 2008 in Asheville. Former Catamount head coaches Jack Leggett and Bill Haywood were honored that evening, including special introductions by former players and Hall of Fame members, Tolleson and Phillip Grundy.

Last year, Leggett was again honored as the keynote speaker following the creation of the "Leggett No. 7 Legacy," and the announcement that his No. 7 jersey would be honored at WCU.

To reserve your spot at the "2012 Celebration of Catamount Baseball," please contact the Catamount Club and Jeremiah Fisher at or by phone at (828) 227-3047.