The Western Carolina baseball team brought the broomsticks with them in their home series sweep over conference foe Davidson April 5-7. The win brought the Catamounts to 15-15 overall and 5-4 in conference.
The first game of the three game series originally set for Friday evening was postponed due to rain and set up a double header on Saturday. The first contest displayed an array of offense by the Catamounts as they scored an almost unbelievable 22 runs off of 20 hits. Pitcher Drew Saberhagen went seven innings in the contest and only gave up four runs, with three being earned. He allowed only two walks and totaled five strikeouts. Remarkably he took down the first eight batters before allowing a hit.
While Saberhagen’s pitching kept the Wildcats from getting any offensive momentum, the bats of the Catamounts rang loud in Hennon Stadium. Fifteen runs were driven in just five innings, with eight scored in the third. Senior Blake Murphy hit two homers, the first scoring two runs, and the latter scoring three. Senior Jason Haynes and Freshman Matt Johns also got in on the action hitting home runs. Sophomores Dylan de Graaf and Stephen Notaro had nice days offensively with both driving in two runs apiece.
The second game was much more competitive as the Catamounts had to come back from an 8 to 5 deficit in the eighth inning. Up 3 to 1, Davidson’s Hugh Eden hit a two run shot with two outs to tie the game up at three. The Wildcats scored five more runs leading into the bottom of the eighth inning to take an 8 to 5 advantage.
In the latter half of the eighth inning however, the Catamounts rallied behind solid hitting and two pivotal errors by Davidson. Jason Haynes hit a fly ball to shallow right field that was dropped by the Wildcat second baseman allowing him to advance to third. After a walk and a single, the bases were loaded for Nick Liles who drove in a run off of a single. Sophomore Brent Greer also knotted a single to score a run and Barrett Shaft brought in another off of his ground out to second. Blake Murphy was intentionally walked to load up the bases again. Davidson’s second error came off of a fielding mistake, allowing two more runs to score and giving Western a 10-8 lead they wouldn’t relinquish.
In the finale on Sunday, Tyler Sexton was a large key to the Catamounts win and completion of the series sweep. After coming in as a reliever in the last 4 innings, Sexton allowed just one unearned run to preserve Western’s 8-4 lead.
Offensively the game was once again dominated by Blake Murphy who went 2for 3 with 3 RBI’s. Barrett Shaft, Dylan de Graaf, and Tyler Kirkpatrick also had multiple hit games. After Davidson tied the game in the fourth inning, the Catamounts responded with a big inning in the sixth to take the lead for good. Blake Murphy hit a two run RBI and then scored his self off of an RBI by de Graaf.
The Catamounts return home after two road series with a contest against Clemson on Tuesday night April 22 and a home series against Southern Conference opponent Furman April 25-27. You can follow each game at catamountsports.com.