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Catamount Diamond Notes: Weekly Wrap-Up, May 15

Western Carolina hosts Presbyterian for its final home game of the 2017 regular season on Tuesday at 5:00 pm.
May 15, 2017


Season Record: 26-25 overall (L-1), 13-8 SoCon (L-1)

Last Week (2-3):
Mon. -- L, at Kennesaw State, 7-1 -- Kennesaw, Ga. (Make-Up from April 5)
Wed. -- L, at Cincinnati, 9-4 -- Cincinnati, Ohio
Fri. -- W, at Ball State, 10-2 -- Muncie, Ind.
Sat. -- W, at Ball State, 7-4 -- Muncie, Ind.
Sun. -- L, at Ball State, 13-6 -- Muncie, Ind.

Games This Week:
Tues., May 16 -- vs. Presbyterian -- Cullowhee -- 5:00 pm (SDN)
Thurs., May 18 -- at Mercer * -- Macon, Ga. -- 6:00 pm (Mercer Live Stats / Audio)
Fri., May 19 -- at Mercer * -- Macon, Ga. -- 6:00 pm (Mercer Live Stats / Audio)
Sat.., May 20 -- at Mercer * -- Macon, Ga. -- 2:00 pm(Mercer Live Stats / Audio)

* NOTE: Be sure to keep track of any weather-related schedule changes online at CatamountSports.com or through WCU Athletics' social media outlets on Facebook (fb.com/catamountsports) and Twitter (@catamounts or @WCUCatamountBSB).

Catamount Baseball Diamond Notes:
- Western Carolina went 2-3 last week, dropping a pair of midweek road games at Kennesaw State in a rescheduled meeting with the Owls and an added game at Cincinnati, falling to the Bearcats for a second-straight season at Marge Schott Stadium ... the Catamounts then took 2-of-3 from Mid-American Conference (MAC) West Division preseason favorite, Ball State, winning the first two games before falling in the finale in the first-ever series between the two programs;

- WCU hit .278 in five games last week, finishing 47-for-169 with 11 extra base hits -- eight doubles and three home runs ... Conversely, WCU's opponents batted 52-for-163 (.319) with 11 doubles and six homers;

- Matt Smith led the Catamounts with a .364 (8-for-22) batting average on the week with two doubles and a home run, driving in six ... Bryson Bowman hit .316 (6-for-19), also with two doubles and a homer while plating a team-high seven ... Redshirt sophomore Matthew Koehler, returning to the lineup after a wrist/hand injury, led the team with a .571 on-base percentage, drawing five walks and three base hits;

- Smith has reached base safely in a career-long 33-straight games dating back to March 19 ... During his current streak, Smith has collected hits in 28 of the 33 games including a combined eight multi-hit games ... He is one of three Catamounts currently with a double-digit streak as Brett Pope has reached in 16-straight dating back to April 21 with hits in 14 of the 16 games including 10 multi-hit games ... Redshirt sophomore Matthew Koehler has reached base safely in 12 consecutive games in which he has at bats, tallying hits in seven of those games with three multi-hit games while drawing walks in eight of the 12 and HBPs in three games;

WCU Baseball -- Among Southern Conference Leaders:
- Western Carolina ranks second in the SoCon in overall batting average at .310 with the third-most hits in the league, 551 ... WCU leads the SoCon in HBPs this year with 60 and are second with 28 sacrifice flies ... All told, the Catamounts rank third in on-base percentage at .392 as well as in fielding percentage at .971 with a league-leading 543 assists;

- In SoCon-only games, WCU paces the SoCon with a .326 batting average in league play, paced by league-leader Nobu Suzuki with a .420 batting average against conference foes;

- Bryson Bowman (4th, .378) and Brett Pope (7th, .356) rank among the SoCon top 10 in batting average ... Bowman continues to pace the SoCon in on-base percentage at .464 with a league-best 57 RBI -- four ahead of teammate Matt Smith (3rd, 53) -- while Pope has score a conference-best 56 runs while collecting a SoCon-best 80 base hits ... Nobu Suzuki has been plunked by a team-high 13 pitches, second in the SoCon;

- Senior LHP Bryan Sammons ranks inside the top 10 in the league in wins (3rd-t, 7); innings pitched (3rd, 90.1); strikeouts (4th, 94) and strikeouts looking (5th, 32); ERA (5th, 3.19); opposing batting average (5th, .226).

WCU Baseball -- Career Charts Watch:
- Senior LHP Bryan Sammons moved into a second place in program history with his 55th career start last Friday at Ball State ... His 69th career appearance ranks him 20th in program history ... With 325.2 career innings pitched, the Wilmington, N.C., native ranks fifth in WCU history ... Sammons ranks tied for fifth in program history with 26 career victories, matching Scott Gay (26, 1983-85) -- he is currently the winningest active pitcher in the SoCon;

- Sammons recorded his 300th career strikeout at Samford ... Currently with 311 career K's, Sammons ranks second in WCU school history ... All-time leader is Clark Maxwell (374, 1994-97) ... Sammons also ranks ninth in SoCon history for career strikeouts, most recently by-passing former The Citadel ace, Asher Wojciechowski (308, 2007-10);

- Senior RHP B.J. Nobles secured has nine career save to rank in a tie for 10th in program history, matching former Catamounts David Pember (1997-99) and Dan Kyslinger (1992) ... Nobles also ranks tied for 23rd in career appearances (67) ... With 168 career strikeouts, Nobles ranks tied for 23rd in program history matching Stewart Keyes (168, 1986-89) ... Junior Brendan Nail is right behind Nobles with 166 career Ks, tied with Dale Pilgrim (1993-96) for 25th in school history;

- Senior Matt Smith is poised to move onto the top 25 chart for career doubles, entering the week with 42 -- just one shy of a four-way tie for 23rd ... With 148 career RBI, Smith ranks 21st in school history ... Smith has also drawn 118 career walks, 12th in program history, while his 33 career HBPs rank him tied for ninth (Luke Gragg, 2011-14; J.P. Burwell, 1994-97);

- Redshirt senior Bryson Bowman currently has 29 career home runs to rank tied for 20th in program history matching Jared Greenwood (2004-05) and Steve Harris (1988-89) ... Bowman also has 13 career sacrifice flies, five shy of the school career record and currently tied for sixth in program history with Bradley Strong (2012-15) and Steven Strausbaugh (2005-07);

- In just two seasons, senior Nobu Suzuki has tallied 20 sacrifice hits to rank fifth in program history, eight shy of the school-record held by Todd Roper (28, 2001-04);

- Junior Brett Pope has moved into 22nd in program history with 35 career stolen bases, matching former Catamount Chad Moore (1992-96) ... Matt Smith is 26th on the same chart with 31 career stolen bags.

This Week in Catamount Baseball:
- Western Carolina plays its final home game of the 2017 regular season, hosting Presbyterian at Childress Field / Hennon Stadium in the backend of a seasonal midweek home-and-home on Tuesday, May 16 with first pitch at 5:00 pm ... Tuesday's game can be seen on the SoCon Digital Network ... the Catamounts then travel to Macon, Ga., for a special Thursday through Saturday Southern Conference series against the Mercer Bears, which wrapped up their third-consecutive regular season SoCon title last weekend;

- WCU leads the all-time series against Presbyterian, 5-1, including a perfect 4-0 record against the Blue Hose in Cullowhee ... the Catamounts claimed the first meeting this season, 9-6, over PC in Clinton, S.C., back on April 11, breaking open a 6-6 tie with three runs over the final two frames ... Five Catamounts posted multi-hit games in the first meeting including 3-for-5 outings by Bryson Bowman and Cameron Blaquiere, who hit a home run and drove in a team-high two;

- Presbyterian (27-25) comes to Cullowhee following a three-game series sweep of Charleston Southern on the road, scoring double-digit runs in each of the three games ... the Blue Hose have won six of their last eight games overall ... Tuesday's meeting represents PC's fifth-consecutive road game as it will play its final eight regular season games on the road ... the Blue Hose are led by reigning Big South Player of the Week, Brett Auckland, who hit .500 (9-for-18) with two homers, six runs, and seven RBI in four games last week ... Overall, PC is batting .269 collectively as a team with 35 home runs, 77 doubles, and 10 triples, scoring an average of 5.2 runs per game while allowing an average of 5.4 runs per outing;

- Western Carolina is 4-8 in midweek (Monday thru Thursday) nonconference games this season but 2-0 in games played on Tuesday (wins at Presbyterian, home vs. Savannah State);

- Western Carolina and Mercer squared off six times in the 2016 season with WCU dropping 2-of-3 at home including an extra-inning, 9-8, loss in game two -- however, after dropping their third-straight of the year early in the 2016 SoCon tournament, the Catamounts won back-to-back games on Championship Sunday, 4-2 and 3-2, to win the 2016 SoCon Tournament crown and the automatic bid to the NCAA regional field;

- WCU trails in the all-time series with Mercer, 5-6, first meeting back in 2007 and 2008 in a midweek home-and-home, both teams winning on the road ... the Catamounts are 4-5 against the Bears as fellow Southern Conference members ... WCU is 2-2 all-time in games played in Macon, Ga.

The Last Meeting
Western Carolina9
Presbyterian6
April 11, 2017
Clinton, S.C.
Three Runs in Final Two Frames Lifts WCU over Presbyterian, 9-6
Western Carolina stretched its seasonal winning streak to seven-in-a-row on Tuesday, scoring three runs in the final two frames to down Presbyterian on the road, 9-6.


 

 

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