The Western Carolina baseball team had a change of scenery this past weekend. Instead of playing on the road against a national powerhouse, they finally returned home to Hennon Stadium/Childress Field to play a familiar foe. The Catamounts (2-7) came out of the weekend series winning two of three games against the Wright State Raiders (0-3).
Sunday, the Catamounts scored 22 runs in the double-header, but it was only good enough for one win. They fell in the first game 13-12, but came out on top in the second 10-6 in seven innings.
In the first game of the afternoon, both the Cats and Raiders went back and forth, seeing six lead changes during the game.
Wright State got on the board first as they brought one run home in the first inning. However, that lead was short lived, as both Doug Myers and Donovan Minero each blasted two-run homers over the left center-field wall with two outs in the inning.
The Raiders would cut the lead to 4-3 in the top of the second, but again WCU countered that when Rod Goldston’s double brought home Michael Roane and Ryan McCurry for two more runs.
The Cats would score six runs on four hits to regain the lead in the bottom of the sixth after relinquishing the advantage in the fifth, but miscues in the field the very next inning proved to be the difference in the game. The Raiders scored four unearned runs, off two WCU errors in the seventh.
WCU threatened in the ninth as McCurry came up with a single, but was later cut down on a game ending double-play by Raider third baseman Brad Olinger.
In the second game, WCU set the tone early, led by Roane as he recorded two doubles and scored two runs in the first and second inning. He would end up going 4-for-5, with two doubles, a triple, two RBIs and four runs scored.
Western did most of their damage in the first three innings as they went up 8-0.
They went up 3-0 in the first inning when Alan Beck sent a three-run homer over the left field wall. WCU would tack on five more runs over the next two innings and would be enough for starting pitcher Dan Foley (1-0) to secure the win. He gave up six hits, five earned runs, and fanned five batters, in five innings of work.
Western’s Todd Buchanan had a big day at the plate as he went 3-for-4, while both Goldston and Myers each finished with two hits.
On Saturday, the Cats played their first home game of the year, and gave the home fans a treat as they won in convincing fashion, 15-2. Western Carolina recorded 21 hits, 11 of those for extra bases.
After a scoreless first two innings, Western drew first blood in the bottom of the third. Goldston led off the inning with a walk, and advanced to third off an Alan Beck stand up double. Buchanan brought Goldston home when he flied out to center field.
The Raiders would get even in the very next inning when Bohr homered to left center off starter Jared Burton. However, that would be the last run Wright State would score until the ninth inning.
The bottom of the fifth proved to be the difference as the Catamounts exploded for nine runs on eight hits. Myers delivered a one-out home run to start the scoring and ended the scoring with a two-run shot to left.
Western Carolina would score three more runs in the seventh inning off homeruns by Beck and pinch hitter Jeremy Hamrick. Beck sent a solo shot over the left field wall, while Hamrick blasted a two-run shot also to left.
Beck and Myers led the hitting attack as they both went 3-for-4 with three RBI’s and two runs scored. Burton was impressive in his home debut as he pitched six innings, giving up only three hits, two walks, and one run, while striking out five.
Western Carolina will return to the diamond this weekend as they take part in the Coastal Carolina Tournament at Myrtle Beach. They will do battle with Kent State on Friday morning and will play host Coastal Carolina on Saturday.
The Cats will conclude the tournament Sunday morning as they will take on the Blue Hens of Delaware.