Late Rally Secures Win for Catamounts in Finale
STATESBORO, Ga. - Victor Roache recorded his first collegiate grand slam to give the Eagles their first lead of ballgame, but Georgia Southern left 14 base runners stranded as Western Carolina pulled out a late 14-11 win. The Catamounts rallied from a three-run deficit to score six in the ninth and held the Eagles scoreless in the bottom to seal the win and take the series.
The Eagles stranded 10 on base in the last five innings to fall to 22-19 overall and 13-8 in league play. Western Carolina pushed its record to 25-13-1, 8-9-1.
Dexter Bobo (Cumming, Ga.) was charged with the loss after working 3.1 innings, allowing five runs (four earned) on four hits. WCU's Adam Curtis picked up his second win of the season and TJ Page recorded his first save.
Ross Heffley and Trevor Collias each homered twice for WCU - three of which tied the ballgame on separate occasions. Heffley closed the game 4-for-5 with six RBI and three runs, while Collias went 3-for-4 with four RBI and three runs.
For the Eagles, Roache (Ypsilanti, Mich.) was 1-for-3 with a grand slam for four RBI and two runs scored. Kyle Blackburn (Marietta, Ga.) and A.J. Wirnsberger (Tuscaloosa, Ala.) both posted two hits apiece. Blackburn joined Roache also recording a home run.
The Catamounts picked up two runs in the first, but the Eagles reversed the threat in the bottom of the frame loading the bases after a double from Kevin Bowles (Statesboro, Ga.) and two free passes from starter Kyle Stewart. Wirnsberger dropped a shallow fly ball to centerfield to cut the deficit in half bringing freshman Roache to the plate.
Roache drove his first pitch faced over the centerfield wall for his first collegiate grand slam, and first grand slam of the season, handing the Eagles a quick 5-2 lead. The long ball marked the second home run of the series for Roache as the freshman launched a two-run blast on Friday in the series-opener.
WCU was forced to make an early call to the bullpen as starter Kyle Stewart only worked two-thirds of an inning allowing five runs before being chased in the game.
The Eagles kept the inning going, batting through the lineup and picking up another run on Arthur Owens' (Fayetteville, Ga.) second visit to the plate in the first. Owens singled through the right side plating Michael Burruss (Marietta, Ga.), who reached on a single, as GS took a commanding 6-2 lead after one complete.
WCU cut the score to two runs, 6-4, when Heffley homered for the first time, picking up two RBI. The Catamounts had the go-ahead run batting with runners on first and second with two outs, but Moye closed the threat picking off Collias at second.
GS took one of the runs back in the home half of the third using a sacrifice fly from Owens that scored Shawn Payne (Stone Mountain, Ga.).
Collias tied the contest, 7-7, in the fifth inning with a three-run home run that stayed just fair down the right field line. Blackburn took the lead right back in the sixth with a solo blast to right center for his 11th home run of the season. The hit marked the first for Georgia Southern since the second inning with the run in the third manufactured without a hit.
The Eagles left the bases loaded in the seventh when Daniel Ottone issued three walks, but the reliever forced a fly out to end the inning unscathed as GS pushed its runners left on base tally to 10. Meanwhile, WCU knotted the contest at 8-all in the next frame with a solo shot to left center from Collias.
The eighth inning would become adventurous as Eric Phillips (Carrollton, Ga.) dropped a first pitch single to left center and scored on an infield single with two outs from Payne to regain the advantage. The Catamounts worked through four pitchers in the inning and brought their right fielder in to pitch as Dullnig walked two runs in before being relieved with GS leading 11-8.
But a three-run home run from Heffley tied the contest in the ninth frame before the Catamounts rallied for another three runs to close the game with a final 14-11 score.
The Eagles stranded 10 on base in the last five innings of play including two bases loaded efforts.
Georgia Southern returns to the field with a mid-week matchup against Kennesaw State on Tuesday, April 27. First pitch is slated for 6 p.m. at J.I. Clements Stadium.
- Category: Baseball
- Published on Sunday, 25 April 2010 18:07