Thursday, April 17, 2014

Baseball: The Citadel comes to town

On Friday April 18th, The Citadel makes the trip up the mountains to the Cullowhee valley to meet the Catamounts in this season's 3-game series between the two most dominate baseball programs in the Southern Conference.

The Citadel has 13 Regular Season Championships in the record books, while the Cats own 12 of those regular season crowns. The Citadel also has won 8 SoCon tournament championships, while the Cats are the proud owner of  9 tournament championships. However, this season the Citadel comes to Hennon Stadium with a 15-23 overall record and the Bulldogs have a solid hold on last place in the conference standings as well, with a  2-13 conference record.

In SoCon play, the Citadel only has one win apiece over Samford and Appalachian State, as the Bulldogs have lost all 5 conference series this year. The Bulldogs have preformed considerably better against non-conference foes, with a 13-10 non-conference record. The Citadel's problems seem to stem from playing on the road, as they are only 3-12 in road games, but conversely are 12-9 at home in Charleston.

The bright spot for the Bulldogs is their home win on Wednesday night against the #11 South Carolina Gamecocks. However, the Gamecocks seem to be in a nose dive, losing back to back games this week against both Charleston Southern and the Citadel, and are in the midst of a four game losing streak.   I don't know how much the Citadel's win over USC can factored into how the Bulldogs will play against the Cats.

"I hope this will get them going, because we still have a lot of baseball left to play," said Bulldog Coach Fred Jordan after beating USC Wednesday night. "Our alumni enjoy (beating USC) a whole lot more than I do. I'd rather beat Western Carolina two out of three. This game's about confidence, and for the first time in a month when we had the lead, we didn't panic when someone pressed us. We just came back in and swung the bats."

Once again, the Catamount Sports Network will not broadcast this series. So, those wanting to hear the game will be forced to listen to the Citadel broadcast. The game will be streamed on Catamount All-Access.


Basketball: Tucker Thompson signs with WCU

According to several sources, Tucker Thompson, a 6-10 senior from Hough High School in Cornelius, NC has signed a NLI to play basketball for Western Carolina next season.

Thompson will join Devin Peterson, Ashley Williams, and Alex Hicks in the incoming 2014-15 freshman signing class. Thompson will join Charlendez Brooks (redshirt freshman) as the second 6' 9"+ true center on the roster. It's not known at this time if Thompson will redshirt.

Hough basketball coach Justin Batts:

“I was really impressed with Tucker all offseason and expected him to be one of the top big men in the entire Charlotte area,” Batts said, adding that Thompson gained about 15 pounds, up to a much-stronger 225 pounds. While Thompson has had some big games – including a season-best 25 points and 10 rebounds in 14 minutes in a win over Hopewell – his numbers don’t always show up in the box score. 
Thompson is perfectly happy doing the “dirty work,” like setting screens, boxing out for rebounds and more. He knows tough plays like rebounds and stick-backs can make a huge difference in tight games. Thompson is also the first to dive for a loose ball, according to Batts. “I don’t think Tucker gets enough credit for all the little things he does, especially defensively,” said Batts, who said Thompson also is averaging 1.6 blocks and 1.6 steals per game. “He not only affects a lot of shots by his size, but he is our best guy at boxing out, and we always have him on other team’s best offensive rebounder.” 

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Taylor Sigmon

Purple & Gold congratulates softball sophomore Taylor Sigmon named the North Carolina Education Lottery Student-Athlete of the Week for April 16 by the Southern Conference.

Photo Courtesy WCU Athletics Media Relations  


Poston Takes Second in Wofford Invitational

Junior J.T. Poston earned his 19th top ten and his 12th top five finish of his career after claiming second place following a chip-off at the 26th Coca-Cola Wofford Invitational at the par-72, 6,648 yard Country Club of Spartanburg after the final 18-holes of play Tuesday.

Courtesy WCU Athletics Media Relations    


Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Cats play Winthrop today, then on to Tennessee on Wednesday

The Cats travel to Rock Hill, SC on Tuesday for a midweek game against Big South foe Winthrop.

The Eagles are 18-21 overall, and 9-6 in the BS and are sitting in first place in the South Division of the Big South. The Catamounts held the Eagles scoreless in Cullowhee back on February 18th in a game finished with a 8-0 final score. Freshman Bryan Sammons scored his first career victory just days after his first career save at No. 2 Mississippi State

Winthrop dropped 2-of-3 over the weekend against Presbyterian, a team WCU shut out 16-0 in Cullowhee last week.  The Eagles are batting .234 as a team but boast a 3.10 overall ERA on the pitching staff.

On Wednesday, the Cats will travel to Knoxville, Tennessee for a game just scheduled between the Catamounts and Volunteers.  Due to inclement weather, Tennessee's game against Virginia Tech on Tuesday was cancelled, leaving both schools in need of additional games.

The Vols will host Western Carolina at Lindsey Nelson Stadium on Wednesday at 6 p.m. ET. Tennessee (23-11) is coming off a series loss at Georgia (1-2) and is 4-6 the last 10 games, but is 16 - 4 in home games this season.  The Vols enter the week ranked 29th in the National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association (NCBWA) poll and aare receiving votes in the USA Today Coaches' Poll.   UT was ranked as high as 21 prior to the losses at UGA.

A live video broadcast of the game will be available for free on UTSports.com/allaccess.

Brittany Gendron & Alex Abraham

Purple & Gold congratulates women's soccer's Brittany Gendron and women's basketball's Alex Abraham both receiving Southern Conference post-graduate scholarships.

Photo Courtesy WCU Athletics Media Relations        

Weeks to accept preferred walk-on position

Swain senior lineman Zach Weeks has accepted a preferred walk on position with the Catamounts.

The SMC Lineman of the Year, Weeks was the anchor for an offensive line that rolled to 6039 total yards, and averaged 37 points per game. In the Maroon Devils grading scheme for offensive lineman Weeks continually grading out 94% or better for his blocking assignments.

On the defensive side of the ball Weeks had 77 combined tackles, including 10.5 tackles for loss and three batted down passes.

View Zach's highlight's here.

Monday, April 14, 2014

Jordan Garrett

Junior pitcher Jordan Garrett became the founding member of the Catamount Softball 500 Strikeout Club as she went over 500 K's against UNCG. She currently has 503 career strikeouts, the most ever for a WCU softball pitcher in its nine-year history.


Photo Courtesy WCU Athletics Media Relations  

Stacia Kissel

Congratulations to Stacia Kissell on being the first player from WCU to be named 1st Team All Southern Conference!

Photo Courtesy WCU Athletics Media Relations  



Sunday, April 13, 2014

2014 WCU Football Spring Game

Baseball: WCU drops series to Furman

After a close win in game 1, the Catamounts lost two straight to the eighth place team in the Southern Conference. Today's win gave the Paladins their first series victory of the baseball season.   Furman entered the weekend series on a 6 game losing streak.

Today's win gave Furman (13-23, 4-8 SoCon) the two games to one series victory and is the first home league series loss since 2012 for the Catamounts. Of the Catamounts' five SoCon regular season losses over the last 30 games, three have come to the Paladins.

It looks like the Furman head coach knew what he was doing in the first game by getting tossed, it certainly motivated the Paladins over the uninspired Catamount team.



Friday, April 11, 2014

Western Carolina wins game one, 5-4 over Furman

Western Carolina survived two back to back solo home runs by Furman in the top of eight inning to hold off the Paladins in the opener of a three-game Southern Conference baseball series Friday evening at Hennon Stadium. 

The 5-4 win pushed the Catamount winning streak up to 12 straight for Western Carolina (23-9, 9-1 SoCon) while the loss upped the Furman streak to seven straight losses (11-23, 2-8 SoCon).

The Catamounts led 5-2 in the top of the eight, before Greg Harrison and Chris Ohmstede slammed Catamount reliever Jonathan Waszak with back-to-back home run off a total of three pitches delivered by Waszak. Bryan Sammons replaced Waszak on the mound and got the next two outs before giving way to WCU's closer, Tyler Powell. Powell walked Furman's Hunter Burton to start the ninth inning, however Burton was thrown out attempting to steal. Powell retired the Paladins' next two batters to end the game and pick up his seventh save of the season.

Bradley Strong went 4-for-5, homered, and drove in two runs as the Catamounts finished with nine hits while holding Furman to six.

Game two starts a 4 pm on Saturday.


Thursday, April 10, 2014

Baseball: Furman weekend series

Western Carolina returns home for a three-game Southern Conference series against the Furman Paladins this weekend.

Furman comes to Cullowhee riding a 6 game losing streak. The Paladins are 11-22 overall, and 2-7 in SoCon play. Furman was single game conference wins against both UNCG and Samford. The Paladins are 5-8 in road games this season.

Game one is scheduled for 5:00 pm on Friday evening with a special 4:00 pm first pitch on Saturday, preceded by a special Baseball BBQ at 3:00 pm following the football Spring Game, presented by Wells Fargo. The baseball series finale is scheduled for 1:00 pm on Sunday afternoon.



Baseball: Cats sweep UNCA

Colton Davis, courtesy WCU
Western Carolina defeated UNC Asheville, 9-3, Wednesday evening under the brand new lights recently installed at Greenwood Field on the Asheville campus, as the Bulldogs celebrated their first official baseball game under the lights.

With the win, the Catamounts improved to 22-9, stretching the nation-leading win streak to 11th-straight as the Cats completed a two game sweep of UNCA, claiming both ends of the home-and-home against the Bulldogs.

Jacob Hoyle hit two home runs for the Cats and drove in three runs as Catamount pitchers limited the Bulldogs to three runs and stranding 12 UNCA baserunners in the game. The Cats used eight pitchers with starter Colton Davis picking up the win as he pitched the first three innings with seven strikeouts, allowing just one hit. Reliever Tyler Powell pitched the final two innings and got the Cats out of a bases-loaded jam in the eighth inning to earn his sixth save of the season.

Western Carolina returns home for a three-game series against the Furman Paladins this weekend. Game one is scheduled for 5:00 pm on Friday afternoon.

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Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Baseball: Cats travel to Asheville

The Catamounts travel to Asheville on Wednesday evening for the second mid-week game, as well as, the second game of the annual home and home series with the UNCA Bulldogs.

The Cats currently own the second longest winning streak in Division I baseball at 10 and enter Wednesday's game with a 21-9 overall record after shutting out Asheville's Big South Conference mate Presbyterian, 16-0. .

Western Carolina visits Greenwood Field - the first on-campus meeting between the Cats and Dogs since 2004, as the Bulldogs dedicate their new field lights in Greenwood Field. Thanks to a grant from the Buncombe County Tourism Development Authority, both UNCA's soccer field and baseball field now have lights.

“We’re excited about our home game with Western Carolina and celebrating the fact we have lights,” stated Bulldog coach and WCU alum, Tom Smith. “It should be a great night and hopefully we can play well and get a win against a very good Western Carolina ballclub.”

Wednesday's meeting is the 75th all-time between WCU and UNCA, as the Cats lead the all-time series with UNCA, 48-26, including the 4-1 victory last Tuesday in Cullowhee. UNCA is 6-8 at home this season and 11-22 overall.

There will be NO Catamount Sports Network coverage of the UNCA game. The game can be seen for free on the Big South Digital Network under the multimedia tag at uncabulldogs.com.

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