Tuesday, April 22, 2014

J.T. Poston: SoCon Men's Golf Player of the Year

Purple & Gold congratulates J.T Poston on his individual SoCon Tournament Championship, his selection as All Conference, and being named Player of the Year by the Southern Conference

Baseball: at Clemson (4-23-14)

On Wednesday, the Cats travel to #20 Clemson for the away portion of this season's home and home with the Tigers.

In the first meeting of the season, the Cats exploded for 18 runs against Clemson, beating the then #11 Tigers by a final score of 18-10.

Currently the Tigers sit at 24-15 overall, and 12-7 in conference, good enough for second place in the Atlantic Division of the ACC. The Tigers played Liberty on Tuesday night in Clemson, prior to Wednesday's game with the Catamounts.  The Flames won that game by a final score 4-3 over the Tigers.

Clemson is 4-6 in their last 10 games, after losing to Liberty on Tuesday. The Catamount Sports Network will carry the game and Clemson has a free live video feed on their TigerCast.

Monday, April 21, 2014

A Loss in the Catamount Family

This was posted by "tdawg" on the Catamount Sports Forum and Catamount Pride. I'd like to see it get the widest distribution, as it's a worthy cause.
You may have heard, our starting left fielder Dykota Spiess' dad, Jason, passed away late Thursday night after a valiant battle with cancer. Our thoughts and prayers are with the family. They have been through many days/months of standing by Jason's side, fighting the battle with him, and now face the coming days of moving on after his passing. We know, however, that God is good and Jason is now standing by His side.
Several of us discussed at the field on Friday evening that, as members of the Catamount Baseball Family, we would like to do something to show our love and support to the Spiess family. I do not know (and do not need to know) much about their financial situation, but I do know that healthcare is not cheap, especially with the extended care that Jason has had. So, with that being said, we would like to send a "love offering" to the Spiess family to help with whatever needs they may have. 
If you would like to contribute to the Jason Spiess love offering you can send a check to: Jodie K. Smith, 3706 Flynt Road, Liberty, NC 27298.  Jodie Smith, our Sunday starting pitchers's mom has volunteered to collect all monies and forward it to the Spiess family. 
In lieu of a service, there will be a celebration of Jason's life at a community picnic and whiffle ball tournament at the Catawba Meadows Park, Morganton , from 3 to 7 p.m. Thursday April 24.

Strong named SoCon Player of the Week

Catamount second baseman Bradley Strong was named the SoCon player of the week, for all games April 14-20 by the Southern Conference.

Strong hit .389 in four games last week, he was 7-for-18 on the week, with five of his seven hits going for doubles. He also scored four runs, drove in three and stole three bases.

Strong opened the week with a 4-for-7 showing in the Catamounts’ 9-6 win at Winthrop on Tuesday. He hit two doubles and stole two bases in the contest. He also drew a walk and scored a run.  Strong was flawless in the field in 26 total chances and was part turning of three double plays.

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Jordan Smith makes his 54th career start

Senior Jordan Smith made a school-record 54th career start on Sunday afternoon, tossing his fifth career complete game his second in the last three weekends. Smith struck out 10 in game two of the series with the Bulldogs, his second complete game in his career against the Citadel.

                                                         Photo by Mark Haskett, WCU Public Relations

Western Carolina & Davidson share lead after Day 1

Photo Courtesy Southern Conference     

Western Carolina and Davidson share the lead after the first round of the Southern Conference Men’s Golf Championship at the National Golf Club in Pinehurst, N.C.

Western Carolina’s J.T. Poston holds the individual lead at 4-under 68, as both Western Carolina and Davidson posted rounds of 6-over 294 as a team.

The top five in the team standings are all within three strokes of each other. Furman and Georgia Southern sit two shots back of Davidson and Western Carolina in a tie for third at 8-over 296, while two-time defending SoCon champion Chattanooga is in fifth at 9-over 297.

Poston opened play with a birdie, then ran off eight straight pars to make the turn at 1-under 35. The junior from Hickory, N.C., then birdied the first three holes of the back nine before closing with another six pars to sit at 4-under after the first round of play.

The tournament returned to Pinehurst for the first time since 1980 and is being played at the National for the first time. The Jack Nicklaus Signature course will play at par-72, 7,122 yards. The team winner of the SoCon Championship will earn the league's automatic bid to the NCAA regional, while the individual medalist will also earn an automatic regional qualification.

Courtesy SoConSports.com

Friday, April 18, 2014

Bradshaw, Emrick & Rahming earn SoCon T&F Athletes of the Week honors

Catamounts were honored in three of the four outdoor track & field athletes of the week selections by the Southern Conference.

Earl Rahming earned the SoCon Men's Outdoor Track Athlete of the Week, and Genevieve Emrick and Alisha Bradshaw were selected as the SoCon Women's Outdoor Track and Field Athlete of the Week.

Rahming took first in the 400-meter run at the Beynon Catamount Classic over the weekend with a SoCon season-best time of 47.82. The senior also set a new personal record in the 200-meter (22.02) despite running into a -1.2 head wind. Rahming is also a member of WCU's SoCon-leading 4x100-meter (40.69) and 4x400-meter relay teams.

Emrick won the 400-meter at the Benyon Catamount Classic with an all-time meet and facility record time of 54.31 to put her at the top of the SoCon list this season. She finished second in the 200-meter, finishing behind teammate Tayla Carter and clocking a 24.61. She also competed on WCU's winning 4x100-meter relay team.

Bradshaw took the title in the hammer throw (168-1), shot put (43-7 ½) and discus (149-4) at the Benyon Catamount Classic last weekend. Her discus throw set a new SoCon-leading mark and she is ranked second in the hammer and fifth in the shot put.

Courtesy CatamountSports.com

Catamount Baseball Today

Photo Courtesy WCU Athletics Media Relations      

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 Dogs and Cats have met 138 times on the diamond, with the Cats leading the series 77-61, including a 40-21 mark in games played in Cullowhee.

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.

Projected Pitching Match-Ups:
Friday: WCU - Jr. Jeremy Null, RHP (5-1, 1.63) vs. CIT - Sr. Logan Cribb, LHP (2-4, 5.51)
Saturday: WCU - Fr. Bryan Sammons, LHP (6-2, 3.96) vs. CIT - So. Austin Mason, RHP (1-2, 5.46)
Sunday: WCU - Sr. Jordan Smith, RHP (5-3, 3.73) vs. CIT - TBA

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.