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Catamount Diamond Notes: Weekly Wrap-up, May 14

Senior Preston Hatcher earned his 14th save of the season to match WCU's single-season record set by Mike Manning back in 1994. (Photo by Mark Haskett)

May 14, 2013

Last Week: 3-0
Friday - Win vs. Wofford, 6-1
Saturday - Postponed due to rain
Sunday - Swept doubleheader vs. Wofford, 3-0 and 10-7

This Week:
Thursday - Away at Appalachian State, 6:30 pm
Friday - Away at Appalachian State, 6:30 pm
Saturday - Away at Appalachian State, 3:00 pm

Fans can follow this weekend's three-game Southern Conference road series at Appalachian State with live streaming audio (free) from the Catamount Sports Network online at Air time of each broadcast is 15 minutes prior to the scheduled first pitch.

The Last Meeting
Appalachian State7
Western Carolina9
May 19, 2012
Cullowhee, N.C.
Catamounts Claim SoCon Series over ASU on Senior Day
Sophomore Dykota Spiess broke the game's only tie with a three-run home run on the first pitch of his seventh inning at bat as Western Carolina claimed its Southern Conference series over No. 24 Appalachian State with a 9-7 victory Saturday afternoon at Childress Field / Hennon Stadium.

Catamount Diamond Notes:
- Western Carolina went 3-0 last week, playing just three times after final exams all week ... the Catamounts swept their fourth-straight Southern Conference series while extending their consecutive league games streak to 14 ... WCU is riding a nine-game seasonal win streak, currently the third-longest active streak in the nation behind Louisville and Oregon State's 12-game streaks ... All told, WCU has won 19 of its last 21 games dating back to April 6 with the lone two losses coming against nationally-ranked, Clemson;

- According to available research, WCU's 14-game SoCon win streak is the third longest in league history among active members ... Elon won 19 straight over the span of two seasons in 2009 and 2010, claiming 17-straight wins in the 2009 season ... The Citadel won 18-straight also between the 2009-10 season but did not surpass 14 wins in either year ... WCU's 14-game win streak represents the second-longest, single-season streak;

- WCU won game one over Wofford on Friday, 6-1, behind a two-hit, one-run effort by Jeremy Null who struck out 10 hitters ... Saturday's game two was rained out and added to a Sunday, Senior Day doubleheader ... WCU swept both ends of the twinbill, winning 3-0, in game one in the team's second shutout victory of the season and 10-7 in the finale to complete the sweep;



- The Catamounts improved to 7-1 in doubleheaders this season;

- All told in the three wins last week, six Catamounts hit .300-or-better as the Catamounts combined to out-hit its opponent,.330-to-.196 ... WCU had 12 extra base hits including five doubles, a triple and six home runs while Wofford posted five doubles and a triple for six extra base knocks;

- Among the Catamounts with multiple plate appearances, Bradley Strong led the team with a .500 batting average (5-for-10) with a triple and a home run with two RBI ... Tyler White tallied the most hits of any player with six, finishing 6-for-14 (.429) with his team-leading 11th home run ... Julian Ridings and Aaron Attaway finished 5-for-14 (.357) with Adam Martin finishing 3-for-9 (.333) with two of his three hits going for extra bases including a three-run homer and a two-run scoring double, giving him a team-best five RBI ... Dale Urquhart Jr., hit in his only plate appearance, doubling off the wall in center field;

- Preston Hatcher currently leads the SoCon with 29 games finished this season and 14 saves - a mark that ranks him tied for SEVENTH nationally;

- With 36 wins on the season, Western Carolina secured 30 victories in a season for the 25th time since 1984 and the 10th 30+ win season since 2000 ... the Catamounts were the first team in the SoCon to reach the 30-win plateau ... WCU finished the home portion of its schedule with a 24-7 record, tied for the second-most victories in Childress Field /Hennon Stadium history and the most since the record-setting season in 2003 when the team won 25 home games ... It is the 10th time in facility history that WCU has recorded 20-or-more home wins;

- The 2013 Catamounts have 21 Southern Conference wins, the second-most in program history ... the 21 victories are the most for the team since tallying a school-benchmark 22 back in the 2003 season ... WCU has 20-or-more SoCon wins for just the fifth time in school history;

- WCU moved into the national rankings for the first time since 2003 - almost exactly 10 years to the date of its last national ranking ... the Catamounts debuted on the Collegiate Baseball National Top 30 in 29th overall;

- Western Carolina moved up in the's Mid-Major Poll, ranking in at No. 14 - matching the second-highest ranking to date this season that came in the preseason poll ... the Catamounts returned to "Others Receiving Votes" status following its three-game sweep of Samford, logged in at No. 25 after sweeping Georgia Southern and moved to 22nd after sweeping UNCG on the road ... the Catamounts opened the season ranked 14th in the poll, advancing six positions after taking 2-of-3 from Washington State on opening weekend to rank a season-high eighth ... A season ago, WCU did not appear in the poll until week three, topping out at 17th on April 2nd;

- Entering this week, WCU ranks third in the SoCon in batting average at .302 collectively on the season, and is second in the league in hits (570) including a league-high 127 doubles and 56 home runs ... WCU paces the SoCon in slugging percentage (.474) ... WCU additionally ranks second in runs scored (362) and RBI (329) ... As a team, WCU has the second-most plate appearances (2,186) and 1,889 at bats and leads with 895 total bases;

- Western Carolina's pitching staff LEADS the SoCon in ERA (4.11), strikeouts (444), wins (36) and is second in innings pitched with 477.2, while ranking third in opposing team batting average (.273) ... the Catamounts' 16 saves also lead the conference ... Jeremy Null - a two-time National Player of the Week - ranks tied for second in the SoCon with 98 strikeouts while Jordan Smith ranks second in the SoCon by limiting opponents to just a .232 batting average against;

- WCU's 42 double plays turned rank tied for second in the league with the team's .962 fielding percentage also ranking fourth overall ... the Catamounts have thrown out 26 would-be base stealers this season to rank tied for second, with 16 runners picked off to rank third.

Making a Case for Player of the Year Honors:
Several Catamounts are stating their case for SoCon Player of the Year accolades - atop the list are infielders, senior Tyler White and junior Aaron Attaway, as well as outfielder Julian Ridings:

- The infield duo enter this week ranked 1-and-2 on the team in terms of total hits, Attaway with a league-leading 84 and White fourth with 78 ... White leads the SoCon with 23 doubles and is tied for fifth with 11 home runs with Attaway one back with 10 ... Attaway also leads the SoCon with 60 runs scored;

- Julian Ridings ranks third in the SoCon in both batting average (.383) and slugging percentage (.657) while White is sixth in the league in slugging percentage (.598) and Attaway is ninth at .571 ... White ranks third in the league in RBI (53) with Attaway tied for ninth with 47 ... Attaway also ranks second in the SoCon in fielding assists with 147.

Catamount Career Charts Watch:
- WCU senior closer Preston Hatcher became WCU's all-time program leader in saves - currently with 24 saves - while also matching the school's single-season leader in the same category ... the Atlanta, Ga., native by-passed former Catamount reliever Ryan Foster (2000-03) who had 22 saves in his career ... Hatcher moved into a tie for first-place on WCU's single-season charts by picking up his 14th save of the season last weekend vs. Wofford ... Hatcher is tied with single-season record holder Mike Manning who had 14 in 1994;

- Hatcher additionally moved into a SIXTH in school history with 85 career appearances ... His next appearance will move him into a tie for fifth in program history;

- As a team, Western Carolina has 16 saves on the year, which stands alone as the second-most in program history ... the 2013 Catamounts have by-passed the 1998, 2002 and 2007 squads ... the school's single-season saves record is 17 accomplished in the 2005 season;

- Senior infielder Tyler White now ranks FIFTH in games started in a career at 214, 12 starts shy of the school's all-time record (Barrett Shaft, 226 from 2005-08) ... He has moved into FOURTH in school history with 855 career at bats ... He also ranks EIGHTH with 274 career base hits, tied for SIXTH with 60 career doubles - just TWO shy of the top five ... White is also FOURTH having been hit by 38 pitches during his WCU career;

- White's 23 doubles on the regular season rank him FOURTH in the single-season record books, just THREE shy of first-place all-time (Rod Goldston, 26 in 2003) ... White is EIGHT doubles shy of the SoCon's single-season record of 31 held by Caleb More of ETSU in 2004 and is two shy of joining the top 10 in that category;

- Junior RHP Jordan Smith ranks 14th in the school ledgers for career strikeouts with 203 ... According to available records, he is just one of 14 Catamount pitchers all-time to crest 200 career strikeouts ... Smith is just 11 K's shy of the all-time program top 10 for strikeouts ... Smith's 42 career starts over the last three seasons rank him seventh on the career ledger while his 260.0 career innings pitched have him 11th in program history.

This Week in Catamount Baseball:
- Western Carolina wraps up the 2013 regular season this week with a three-game road series against archrival Appalachian State in Boone, N.C. ... the series will be played Thursday through Saturday with the first two games starting at 6:30 pm and Saturday's finale at 3:00 pm;

- WCU took 2-of-3 from the Mountaineers in the series in Cullowhee a season ago, but ASU clinched the 2012 SoCon regular season crown with a game two, come-from-behind win on Friday night, 5-4 ... WCU dropped two of the three regular season meetings with the Mountaineers in the most recent series in Boone in the 2011 season, falling in the first two games before winning the series finale ... WCU has dropped two of the last six meetings with ASU in Boone, also recording two wins and a tie.