Rain Forces Cancellation; Focus Shifts to ‘Dogs

Springtime is often associated with the onset of baseball season. It also typically means an increase in rain fall. Both were true this week as the Catamounts’ Tuesday afternoon date with the 8th-ranked Clemson Tigers was washed out a day after the major league’s opening day.

At the time of publication, no makeup date has been set, though both sides would like to play the game.

Catamount head coach Todd Raleigh, who spoke with a former WCU coach now at the helm of Clemson Jack Leggett, was disappointed in the rainout.

“They’re a good opponent, and we’ll try to play it. I really felt like today would’ve been a good match-up, a good game,” said Raleigh. “But they’re playing like every Tuesday and Thursday the rest of the semester, and then our exams are at different times so it’ll be tough. But we definitely would like to get it in.”

Instead of facing off against the Tigers, who are coming off a series that saw them score nearly 70 runs on New York Tech, Raleigh and the Catamounts will gain an extra day of rest before traveling to Charleston on Friday to tangle with The Citadel.

Currently, the Bulldogs sit atop the Southern Conference with a 9-3 mark, are boasting a 23rd national ranking, and a 22-9 overall mark. This season The Citadel has knocked off nationally-ranked Tennessee and Florida State.

Raleigh understands the importance of this series.

“The Citadel is good. They’re the best club we’ll have seen in the league so far. They pitch well and swing the bat exceptionally well, and they are tougher in their ball park,” Raleigh explained. “But this is a big series for us. If we can go in there and take care of business, we feel real confident because we like our schedule the rest of the way. They’ve still got some tough games down the stretch so we need to get up there and put some pressure on them.”

However, he added, “We’ve got to get over our road struggles.”

Raleigh will look to throw sophomores Ryan Basner and Jared Burton against the Dogs, with the third start yet to be decided between junior-transfer Dan Foley and sophomore Seth Foster.

After the road series in Charleston, the Cats will step outside of the conference to face Georgia State in Atlanta in a pair before returning home for Southern Conference rival East Tennessee State next weekend.

Other games down the stretch include two games in Asheville versus UNC Asheville and a non-conference date in Cullowhee with North Carolina A & T. The Cats travel to Furman and VMI, while hosting ETSU and Davidson to wrap up the home season.

The Southern Conference tournament begins May 17 at the location of the Catamounts weekend series with The Citadel in Charleston, SC.