|Catamounts Whips ASU Again, 9-1|
|Written by Mike Flynn|
|Saturday, 18 May 2013 08:59|
For the second-straight night, Western Carolina jumped out to an early lead and defeated Appalachian State University baseball, 9-1, on Friday evening at Beaver Field at Jim and Bettie Smith Stadium.
With its third-straight Southern Conference loss, Appalachian State (27-22, 12-14 SoCon) fell to sixth place in the league standings, percentage points behind fifth-place Furman (31-23, 14-16 SoCon) and a half-game ahead of seventh-place Georgia Southern (25-29, 13-16 SoCon). Appalachian can clinch the fifth seed in next week’s SoCon Tournament with a win over regular-season champion WCU in Saturday’s regular-season finale. If Appalachian loses and Georgia Southern loses to College of Charleston, the Mountaineers would be the tournament’s sixth seed. If Appalachian loses and Georgia Southern beats CofC, the Mountaineers would fall to the seventh seed.
Much like it did in Thursday’s 23-5 victory, No. 29 Western Carolina (38-17, 23-6 SoCon) got on the scoreboard early and often on Friday night. The Catamounts plated runs in each of the first four innings and led 7-0 before Appalachian State scored its only run of the evening on Dillon Dobson’s (Boonville, N.C./Starmount) team-best sixth home run of the season in the bottom of the fourth.
WCU tacked on single runs in the sixth and ninth innings to account for the final margin. Bradley Strong led the Catamounts’ 15-hit attack by going 3-for-5 with a towering two-run home run over the WCU bullpen in right field in the second inning. Tyler White chipped in by going 3-for-5 with a double, RBI and two runs scored. The 5-11, 220-pounder also recorded his second and third stolen bases of the season when he swiped second and third with the Catamounts holding a seven-run lead in the ninth inning.
For Appalachian State, Will Callaway (Greenville, S.C.) ripped a single through the right side of the infield in the eighth inning to extend his hitting streak to 24 games, the third longest in school history. Callaway is just three games shy of the school-record 27-game hitting streak set by Rand Smith in 2009.
Appalachian will look to salvage a victory in the three-game series when the clubs meet in the regular-season finale on Saturday at Smith Stadium. Game time has been changed to noon due to a forecast for inclement weather later in the afternoon.
NOTES: Friday night’s game was delayed 1:54 by rain in the top of the third inning ... Appalachian State has lost its first Southern Conference home series since Samford took 2-of-3 games at Smith Stadium on April 15-17, 2011 ... since hanging 19 runs on West Coast Conference champion Gonzaga over the final two games of last weekend’s series in Spokane, Wash., Appalachian has scored just six runs in its last three games ... Appalachian State will honor its six seniors prior to their final home game on Saturday ... the Senior Day program for Callaway, Hector Crespo (Miami, Fla./Florida Christian), Gabe Dimock (Greensboro, N.C./Grimsley), Tyler Jackson (Jonesville, N.C./Starmount), Rob Marcello (Royal Palm Beach, Fla./Royal Palm Beach) and Josh Wilson (Edgefield, S.C./Strom Thurmond) will get underway at 11:40 a.m. ... in addition to its regular spot on WATA 1450 AM in Boone, the Appalachian IMG Sports Network broadcast of Saturday’s game will also be carried on the Triad Sports Network (check local listings in the Greensboro/Winston-Salem/High Point Triad).
Photo Courtesy: Dillon Dobson, ASU Athletics
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