The Catamount baseball team gave nationally ranked Georgia Tech an early scare on March 4th, and proved themselves a tough competitor in the early 2008 season.
Western jumped out to an early one to nothing lead off the bat of junior J.C. Lyons, who hit his third homer this year. The lead would be relinquished however when Georgia Tech took their turn at a homer. Shortstop Derek Deitrich bombed one over the wall scoring two runs. They would eventually score two more runs in the ball game and hold Western to just one, posting a 4-1 victory over the visiting Catamounts.
Even with the loss, Western got great work from several players on the squad. First baseman Tyler Kirkpatrick had two hits on the afternoon, while before mentioned J.C. Lyons, Ryan Matthews, and Brent Greer each had one. Pitcher Drew Saberhagen also had a nice day, pitching seven innings, only allowing one earned run on six hits. He also had five strikeouts. Relief pitcher, sophomore Chris Masters, gave up one run and one hit, and struck out one.
Through the early stretch of the season, Western baseball has solidified itself as an offensive threat in almost every game. In eight contests, the Catamounts have scored under seven points only twice, and have yet to be shut out. Going bat to bat with George Mason during the “Baseball at the Beach” Tournament, the Cats lost an offensive slugfest 16 to 12. They also scored nine, eleven, and twelve runs in a three game home series against Marshall, a series they took two games to one.
Though solid hitting is important, Western must find a way to step up their defense in hopes of winning key ball games. The Catamounts have not allowed under five points this season. It is something that the Catamounts are hoping will improve in practice and each game as the season gets into full swing. They must find a way to do it quick however as they challenge tough out of conference foes such as Clemson and South Carolina, as well as a tough Southern Conference in league play.
As the month of March has begun, The Catamounts will play in one more early season tournament in Houston Texas, March 6-8. Dubbed the ‘Rice’ Tournament, Western will play three games against Michigan State, Creighton, and host Rice, who is currently ranked in the top 10. The Catamount squad will then travel to Nashville a two game series with a ranked Vanderbilt squad on March 11th and 12th. Western will finally return home after the Vanderbilt series, hosting a weekend series with Hartford. As always, games can be followed online at catamountsports.com.