May 20, 2013
Cullowhee, N.C. -
Finishing with a 38-18 overall record and a 23-7 mark in league play, the Southern Conference regular season champion Western Carolina Catamount baseball team remained among the national rankings according to Collegiate Baseball - the nation's oldest college baseball poll - released Monday afternoon. WCU remained ranked 29th in the nation after debuting in that position a week ago, returning to the national rankings for the first time since 2003.
Top-seeded Western Carolina opens its quest for a 10th SoCon tournament championship on Wednesday afternoon at 1:30 pm as the Catamounts face No. 8 Samford at Fluor Field at the West End in Greenville, S.C.
Festivities in Greenville get underway on Tuesday evening with the final edition of the 12-stop "Catamounts Unite Tour." The Upstate South Carolina stop, hosted by the Cullowhee River Club, is scheduled for 6:00 pm until 8:00 pm at the City Range Grill (615 Haywood Road). The event, which is open to the public, includes a social and a speaker panel answering questions.
The "Catamounts Unite Tour" series of receptions is designed to allow WCU Director of Athletics Randy Eaton, head football coach Mark Speir and head men's basketball coach, Larry Hunter - as well as other Catamount coaches - to meet with WCU alumni, supporters and Catamount fans as they craft together the vision and direction of Catamount Athletics. Special for the Greenville, S.C., stop, WCU head baseball coach Bobby Moranda will be on-hand to discuss the 2013 SoCon Baseball Tournament.
In addition to remaining in the Collegiate Baseball poll, WCU moved up in the CollegeBaseballDaily.com's Mid-Major Poll, ranking in at No. 12 - the second-highest ranking to date this season. The Catamounts started the season ranked 14th in the online publication's polling and moved to a season-high eighth after taking 2-of-3 from Pac-12 foe, Washington State, on opening weekend. In early March, the Catamounts fell from the rankings and remained out of the poll until popping into the "Others Receiving Votes" status on March 18 and again on April 15.
WCU logged in at No. 25 after sweeping Georgia Southern and moved to 22nd after sweeping UNCG on the road. A year ago, WCU topped out at 17th in the polling of mid-major level programs.
WCU closed the regular season by taking 2-of-3 from archrival, Appalachian State, in Boone, N.C., winning 23-5 and 9-1 before falling on a walk-off hit, 9-8, in the series finale. The Catamounts closed the regular season by winning 21 of their last 24 games including 16-of-17 in SoCon play to win their first conference regular season championship since 2007 - and the 12th regular season crown all-time.
Every game Western Carolina plays in post-season will be broadcast by the Catamount Sports Network and presented by the Stanberry Insurance Agency. Fans can follow the broadcasts through Stretch Internet on CatamountSports.com.
Catamount Central for the 2013 SoCon Baseball Tournament will be held Mac's Speed Shop (930 South Main Street). Catamount fans are invited out two hours prior to the scheduled first pitch.