Western Carolina’s baseball season ended Friday, May 22 during the Catamounts’ third game of the Southern Conference Championship. Despite a three run rally in the top of the ninth, the Catamounts were unable to stop No. 8 Furman from advancing in the tournament. As of May 28, twelve Catamounts are set to play in the summer wooden-bat leagues.
On May 22, the Catamounts faced the Furman Paladins in what was Western Carolina’s third game of the SoCon tournament. The game remained scoreless until the bottom of the second inning, when Furman plated Matt Hemingway, Reese Wade, Campbell Lewis, and Will Miller. The Catamounts responded with a run by Rembert Rollison in the top of the third, but the Paladins answered in the bottom of the fourth with runs from both Marcus Rose and Justin Holloway.
Both teams scored in the sixth inning. During the top of the eighth, Rollison homered to left center field, making the score 7-3.
In the top of the ninth, Furman reliever Nick Karow walked Stephen Notaro, who was lifted for pinch runner Dylan de Graaf. Karow hit Matt Johns and walked to Nick Liles, loading the bases; all scored before a pop fly from Trevor Collias ended the game.
The final score was 7-6, Furman.
Following the season ending loss, twelve Catamounts have signed on to play in the summer wooden-bat leagues in order to stay in shape. Two will play in the Cape Cod League, two in the Coastal Plains League, two for the Collegiate Baseball League, one for the Northwoods League, and four for the Valley League.
Both Ross Heffley and Danielle Ottone will be playing with the Orleans Firebirds. Heffley was named Southern Conference Freshman of the Year for the 2009 season, and Ottone is one of Western’s more prominent closers, with a 3.86 ERA for 35 innings, and 38 strikes against 14 walks.
In the Coastal Plains League, junior Matt Johns, ranked 5th with a .323 average and 37 RBI, and Jason Sullivan who pitched six and a third shutout innings against Tennessee Tech, will both be playing with the Wilson Tobs. Tyler Kirkpatrick, who has 21 starts as 3rd baseman, will be with the Asheboro Copperheads.
Andrew Blackwell and Radley Haddad will play for the Hamilton Joes. Blackwell posted 18 strikes and 10 walks as a freshman. Haddad appeared in twelve substitutions, and hit .417.
Kyle Stewart is the lone Catamount in the Northwoods League. He served as the primary mid-week starter, and has a 4-1 overall record.
In the Valley League, Garrett Baker will play for the New Market Rebels. He pitched with an 8.04 ERA in fifteen and two thirds innings, and sixteen strikeouts against six walks. Matt Benedict and Lee Murray will both play with the Haymarket Senators. Benedict has pitched 24 innings with 24 strikeouts against 15 walks and 11 hit batsmen. Murray has played 21 games with 10 starts, 5 as a left fielder and five as a designated hitter.