Cullowhee, NC Western Carolina baseball travels to inside enemy Gardner-Webb Wednesday night for a 17-hour tilt with the Runnin ‘Bulldogs. The game concludes a five-game turnaround for the Catamounts that began March 30 in sixth-ranked Tennessee.
Wednesday’s game will be broadcast on the Catamount Sports Network with live streaming audio available online at CatamountSports.com from 4:45 p.m.
Catamounts (14-7) snapped a three-game slide by taking the league final against Wofford in league games last Saturday in Spartanburg. WCU fell by one race in the series opener on Friday night before splitting Saturday’s double header, dropping a 12-9 decision in game one before scoring 10 races over the last four innings to defeat the Terrier 11-6 in the night cover.
Western Carolina continues to increase the pace of the SoCon team average with a .296 collective average – 19th in the nation – which includes five regular batting above the .350 mark. Catamounts has five of the top 10 stroke averages and base percentages in the conference that goes into the week. WCU enters the middle of the week ranked 21st nationally in the NCAA RPI and is number two in the country in scoring, averaging 9.1 runs per game. Defensively, WCU is tied for 34th nationally with an average of 0.86 doubles per game.
Junior Will talk has a SoCon best. 442 average with a double and a triple among his 23 basic hits. Seven Catamounts have double-digit RBI this season with four runs of 20 or more to date. Luke Robinson has a stroke average of .369 which includes a .702 slugging percentage that has seven doubles, a team-best seven home runs and a team-leading 27 RBI – tied for fourth in SoCon. Justice Bigbie has scored a league best 34 races this season.
Gardner-Webb (11-10) returns home after a midweek Big South Conference match at Radford, Virginia on Tuesday night. The Runnin ‘Bulldogs ran for a 9-2 lead through six completions before holding on to the Highlanders in a 9-7 victory, as Radford used a four-round eighth inning to give the final votes.
GWU enters Wednesday’s game batting .249 collectively as a team with three fixed batting above the .300 threshold. Bo Rusher leads the team with a 0.321 batting average including 18 hits with four doubles and 10 RBI. Keiji Parkhurst drives the Runnin ‘Bulldogs with 16 RBI, one of five players with double-digit RBI to date.
The two troops have two regular opponents so far this season – Big South opponent UNC Asheville and SoCon enemy, Wofford. Both teams fell 2-of-3 against the Terrier while Gardner-Webb defeated UNC Asheville 6-3 on March 23 while Catamounts fell to UNCA in non-conference action 10-4 back in February. 23.
WCU leads the all-time series with Gardner-Webb, 15-9-1, and shares the last two meetings back in the 2019 season. The Runnin ‘Bulldogs won the Catamounts in the last meeting in Cullowhee 5-4 on March 20, 2019, while the Catamounts drove Gardner-Webb 4-3 in a neutral field competition at Keeter Stadium in Shelby on April 10, 2019. Everyone said that GWU has won four of the last five in the head-to-head series, including two-straight in Boiling Springs.
Projected Pitching Match-Up:
WCU – R-Jr. RHP Sad Campbell (0-0. 3.38 ERA) vs. GAWB – Jr. RHP Noah Davis (0-1, 12.46)
Additional Catamount Diamond Notes:
- Junior Daylan nanny carries an active match for nine games and a 21-match reached base safe line in the midweek match on Gardner-Webb … Nanny has reached the base successfully in every match this season to date – and it is believed to be the longest active base reached safe streak in SoCon;
- Daniel walsh, who missed four games due to concussion protocols, has reached the base safely in 17-straight games this season – every game he has played in … Seth Graves has a 10-game active streak;
- Will talk has a hit section with six games while Luke Robinson has hits in five games in a row that go into Wednesday’s game on Gardner-Webb;
- Justice Bigbie’s 26 games reached a safe line that included the first 17 games of this season, and the last nine games of the shortened 2020 season are tied to the longest line of a SoCon player in the last two seasons … ETSU’s Ethan Cady had The 26-game streak stopped Tuesday as he went 0-for-5 with an RBI in the 15-5 loss to No. 13 Virginia Tech in Johnson City.
Keep track of everything related to Catamount baseball and WCU Athletics through social media on Facebook (fb.com/CatamountSports), Twitter (@Catamounts, @CatamountBSB) and Instagram (wcu_catamounts, catamountbsb).