Baseball Completes Sweep of Western Carolina
The Eagles’ offense dominated all weekend long accumulating 47 runs on 43 hits, including 10 home runs.
Ty Wright (Montrose/West Laurens) continued to excel in the leadoff role, taking the first pitch of the first inning over the centerfield fence. His fourth home run of the year (in 39 at-bats) gave the Eagles a 1-0 lead.
The Catamounts tied the score during their half of the second. Justin Davis (Pulaski/Metter) walked two batters, and then a wild pitch with two outs tied the score. Jason Haynes lined a shot to the left field gap but David Richardson (Dahlonega/Lumpkin County) chased it down to end the frame.
A.J. Wirnsberger (
Western finally got its first hit of the game during the third inning. Two walks, two hits and two hit batters led to a four-run frame and 5-2 lead for the Catamounts (6-14, 0-3).
The Eagles erupted in the third, scoring seven runs before recording an out. Phillip Porter (Marietta/Sprayberry) was hit by a pitch. Chris Shehan (Strasburg, PA/Lampeter-Strasburg) dropped a single that right fielder Dylan de Graaf fell short of making a diving catch. Porter scored on a wild pitch by Garrett Ozar.
Wirnsberger and Richardson were hit by a pitch. Pierce dropped down a sacrifice bunt but Ozar mishandled the ball, which loaded the bases. Beckham cleared the bases with a double to center extending the Eagles’ lead to 9-5.
J.C. Lyons hit a two-out run scoring single in the fourth but the Eagles quickly responded. Corey Martin hit Parker with two down in the fourth. Wirnsberger ripped a 2-run shot to the left field gap. His sixth home run this year gave GS an 11-6 advantage.
Matt Johns hit a 2-run single in the fifth off Burt Barto (Columbus/Columbus). Charlie Strohecker (Alpharetta/Milton) entered the game and recorded two strikeouts and a flyball to end Western’s scoring threat.
Beckham added another RBI single in the fifth, matching his career-high RBI total of five. Blake Murphy hit a solo shot to start the sixth inning. But again the Eagles had an answer. Parker hammered an opposite-field shot to begin the sixth, making it 13-9. Parker also had a 2-home run game at Western in last year’s regular season finale.
Murphy added a 2-run double in the seventh. Wright, who drew a one-out walk, scored on a failed pickoff attempt then another throwing error by first baseman Barrett Shaft on the play. Benedict hit his eighth homer of the year during the eighth inning, a solo shot to start the frame. Nick Liles’ solo homer in the ninth accounted for the final margin.
“I’m awfully proud of our kids, they played hard and competed all weekend long. We had a lot of guys step up at different times over the weekend. One thing we’re proud of, when we got down we responded,” said head coach Rodney Hennon. “I think we did a good job of making every at-bat count. We took a good, solid approach and hope to continue to do just that. Blake (Nation) came in against a good hitting Western team and closed the door twice.”
Blake Nation (Brooks/Starr’s Mill) gave up only the one run on one hit in two innings to earn his third save this year. Strohecker (2-0) earned the win in relief, allowing one run on three hits in two innings. He matched his career-high of four strikeouts.
Parker drove in four runs and scored three times. In addition to matching his career-high RBI total, Beckham also matched his career-high of three hits. Shehan also had two hits to finish the series 9-for-14 at the plate.
Ozar (2-2) was charged for nine runs (eight earned) on six hits in two innings. Five different Catamounts had two hits. Murphy and Johns led the way with three RBI each.
Western plays host to
- Category: Baseball
- Published on Sunday, 23 March 2008 00:10