Western Carolina Knocks Off No. 17 Tech Baseball, 9-5
Yellow Jackets and Catamounts split the two-game series.
March 10, 2004
ATLANTA - Chad McKown went 2-for-3 with three RBI, and Todd Roper, Chris Davis and Denver Edick added two RBI apiece to lead Western Carolina (8-7) to a 9-5 win over No. 17 Georgia Tech (9-6) on Wednesday afternoon at Russ Chandler Stadium.
The Catamounts, who earned a split in the two game series, scored nine runs on nine hits, and capitalized on six walks and four hit batters by Yellow Jacket pitchers. Tech outhit Western Carolina, 11-9, in the game.
The Catamounts scored five times with just two hits in the second inning to take an early lead. McKown was credited with a two run single after hitting a ball that cleared the right field fence but passing baserunner Alex Gary between first and second bases. Edick had a RBI single, Davis added a sacrifice fly and Roper drove in a run when he was hit by a pitch with the bases loaded, and the Yellow Jackets contributed to the rally by issuing four walks and hitting two batters.
Tech answered in the bottom of the second with three runs to cut the lead to 5-3. The first four hitters in the inning all reached base safely - Micah Owings singled, Tyler Greene doubled, Steven Blackwood drove in two runs with a double and Jake Hall added a RBI single.
Western Carolina added two runs with a two-out RBI double from Davis and a RBI single from Edick to extend the lead to 7-3. A RBI single from McKown gave the Catamounts an 8-3 lead in the seventh inning, while Matt Nelson doubled and scored on Roper's RBI single to make the score 9-3 in the eighth.
The Yellow Jackets loaded the bases with no outs in the bottom of the eighth inning. But WCU reliever Derrick Hawk escaped the jam and allowed just one run on a sacrifice fly from Blackwood while recording a strikeout and a flyout to end the inning. Tech mounted another rally in the ninth with three straight hits to open the inning, including a RBI single from Brandon Boggs that made the score 9-5, but Hawk escaped another jam with a strikeout and a double play to end the game.
Brandon Nash (1-0) picked up the win in relief by working 2.2 scoreless innings and allowing just one hit. The Catamount bullpen of Nash, Clint Ramsey, Eryk McConnell and Hawk combined for 7.2 innings and allowed just two runs.
Tech starter Jason Neighborgall (0-1) took the loss, allowing five runs on one hit and four walks in 1.1 innings.
The Yellow Jackets went 3-for-16 with runners in scoring position, while the Catamounts were 5-for-9 in the same situations.
Georgia Tech opens Atlantic Coast Conference play this weekend when the Yellow Jackets host Virginia for a three game series beginning on Friday at 4 p.m. Live statistics will be available at www.ramblinwreck.com while a radio broadcast can be heard on WREK-Radio (91.1 FM in Atlanta) and on the internet at www.wrek.org.