Spartans fall 8-3 at Western Carolina in SoCon baseball action
CULLOWHEE, NC – Western Carolina scored four runs over the first three innings and never surrendered the lead as UNC Greensboro dropped an 8-3 contest Friday night at Hennon Stadium on the Western Carolina campus.
The Spartans (19-27, 8-11 SoCon) jumped out to a 1-0 lead in the first inning when Jermaine Mitchell collected his 25th RBI of the season. After an hour rain delay, Greg Feltes led off the frame with a walk and advanced to second on a sacrifice bunt by David Adams. Feltes then moved up 90 feet on a wild pitch before scoring the game’s first run on a single to shortstop off the bat of Mitchell.
Western Carolina (26-20, 12-10 SoCon) quickly evened the game at a run apiece in the home half of the first. Tim Hallam led off the half inning with a single up the middle and Barrett Shaft followed with a single to right to put runners on first and second. After the Spartans retired the next two batters, Hallam scored the equalizer on a pass ball charged to the Spartans.
The Catamounts tacked on two more runs in the bottom of the second to take a 3-1 lead. Jonathan Greene and Scott Ward both walked to start the inning and Donnie Wilson followed with a bunt single to load the bases. Mitchell Hatley followed with a sacrifice fly and Shaft added an RBI single to account for the two runs.
UNCG cut the lead in half in the top of the third when Mitchell struck for his team-leading fourth home run of the season to make the score 3-2 in favor of the Catamounts. Western answered with a run in the bottom half as Trey McDaniel scored on a wild pitch. The Catamounts extended their lead to four runs in the fifth at 6-2 after Greene hit a two-run home run to left-centerfield.
Guy Welsh cut the Catamount deficit in half in the top of the seventh when the Tucson, AZ native collected his team-leading 33rd RBI on a single on the infield that scored Feltes who started the rally with a two-out double. Western answered in the bottom of the seventh with two runs highlighted with on an RBI single from Shaft.
Bryan Tupper (4-1) picked up the win after allowing two runs on five hits while striking out five in six innings of work. Greg Holland recorded his seventh save of the season after surrendering just three hits in 2-1/3 innings of mound duty.
Junior Nick Starnes (4-3) took the loss for the Spartans after being touched for six runs (five earned) on seven hits while collecting four punchouts in 4-1/3 innings on the hill.
Mitchell paced the Spartans at the plate as the Daingerfield, TX native finished the night with a 3-for-4 showing with two RBI at the plate.
UNCG and Western Carolina continue a three-game series Saturday evening at 7 p.m. from Hennon Stadium.
Western Carolina 8, UNC Greensboro 3 (May 05, 2006 at Cullowhee,
UNC Greensboro...... 101 000 100 - 3 10 2 (19-27, 8-11 SoCon)
Western Carolina.... 121 020 20X - 8 13 1 (26-20, 12-10 SoCon)
Pitchers: UNC Greensboro - Nick Starnes; Clay Gibson(5); Jonathan Nichols(6); Greg Martin(7);
Clinton McKinney(7); Wes McCall(8). Western Carolina - Tupper; McCullen(7); Holland(7).
Win-Tupper(4-1) Save-Holland(7) Loss-Nick Starnes(4-3) T-3:00 A-125
HR UNCG - Jermaine Mitchell (4).
HR WCU - Greene (8).
- UNCG -