Thursday, April 29, 2021

Up Next: UNCG


The Cats continue their seven-game road trip as they visit the Blue Division's UNCG Spartans in Greensboro, NC.  The Spartans are currently riding a five-game win streak and are coming off a 12-3 win over High Point on the road. 

When: Friday and Saturday, April 30 & May 1 (DH), 2021, at 4:00 pm 
WhereUNCG Baseball Stadium, Greensboro, NC
Radio: none
TV/video:  ESPN+
Live Stats: UNCG live stats
UNCG Fan Message BoardUNCG Fans

Head CoachBilly Godwin - head coach in 2d season -
Godwin's Record:  32-24 overall
Alma Mater Atlantic Christian

Godwin's record vs. WCU: 0-0
Moranda's record vs. UNCG: 10-18

2021 UNCG Baseball Record: 20-19 overall, 6-12 SoCon, 8-7 home, 10-11 away, 0-0 neutral
2020 UNCG Baseball Record: 12-5 overall, 0-0 SoCon, 9-2 home, 1-3 away, 0-0 neutral

The Series: The Cats are 35-39 overall against the Spartans, the Cats are 21-21 overall in games played in Greensboro.  

UNCG baseball ranked third in the SoCon Preseason team rankings. The Spartans also had three selections to this year's Preseason All-SoCon team with Austin Koehn, Zack Budzik, and Greg Hardison all receiving second-team honors.

UNCG comes into Friday's game riding a five-game win streak after they defeated nearby rivals High Point for a third time last Tuesday, taking the pair's final meeting of the season 12-3 for the Spartans' fifth consecutive win.  

UNCG was swept by Samford, Mercer, and Wofford earlier in the season, but picked up three wins over the Citadel in Greensboro last weekend.  UNCG is currently tied for third place with VMI in the Blue division with a 6-12 conference record.  

Projected Pitching Match-Ups: 
Friday: WCU – RHP Zebby Matthews (6-1, 2.47) vs. UNCG – RHP Brendan Collins (3-2, 4.81) 
Saturday: WCU   – Gm1: RHP Ryan Mitschele (3-3, 5.91) vs. UNCG – RHP Austin Koehn (3-2, 4.91) 
Saturday: WCU   – Gm2: RHP #32 Tristen Campbell (2-0, 4.02) vs. UNCG – RHP Alex Hoppe (1-2, 5.40)

Wednesday, April 28, 2021

Kerwin Bell Introduction to the Catamount Nation

(starts at the 4:20 mark)

In case you missed the early morning introduction to Head Coach Bell, you can watch it here.


Tuesday, April 27, 2021

Kerwin Bell named WCU Head Football Coach

 Kerwin Bell has officially been named WCU's 14th head football coach. Coach Bell won a combined 4 conference championships and a NCAA Division II National Championship in 12 seasons previously as a head coach. Press conference tomorrow at 9AM.

A formal introductory press conference will be held on Wednesday, April 28 at 9:00 a.m. in the main arena of the Ramsey Center with a live online stream available. 

Wednesday's introductory press conference (link) will be streamed through WCU's Facebook page ( and the department's YouTube channel ( with an embedded link at

Courtesy WCU Media Relations  

Sunday, April 25, 2021

Up Next: Elon

The Cats continue their road trip, on to Elon, NC to face the former SoCon member Phoenix of Elon University for a midweek game. The two teams last faced each other in 2019 in Cullowhee

When: Wednesday, April 28, 2021, at 7:00 pm 
Where: Latham Park -  Elon, NC
Radio: Elon radio 
TV/video: Elon YouTube
Live StatsElon live stats
Elon Fan Message Board: Elon Fans

Head Coach: Mike Kennedy  - head coach in 25th season - 
Kennedy's Record:  754-581-3 overall 
Alma Mater: Elon - 1991

Kennedy's record vs. WCU:    22-20
Moranda's record vs. Elon:    10-18

2021 Elon Baseball Record: 13-17 overall, 6-6 CAA, 10-7 home, 3-10 away, 0-0 neutral 
2020 Elon Baseball Record: 7-10 overall, 0-0 CAA, 7-6 home, 0-4 away, 0-0 neutral 
The Series: The Cats are23-25 overall against the Phoenix, but lost the last two games played in the series. The Cats are 10-13 overall in games played at Elon

Under Mike Kennedy, Elon has posted a 442-228-1 (.659) record at Latham Park. 

Justin Casella leads the Phoenix at the plate with a .400 average. Tyler Cranston is hitting .379, and Iadisernia is close behind him at .374. Ladisernia has team-highs in at-bats (107), runs (25), hits (40), home runs (8), RBIs (23), total bases (71), and walks (14).   Elon is hitting .255 with a .397 slugging percentage and a .345 on-base percentage.

Elon comes into this game with a series win over UNCW, having split a doubleheader on Sunday.  

Projected Pitching Match-Up: 
WCU – RHP #32 Tristen Campbell (2-0, 4.30) vs. ELON – LHP #26 Liam Dabagian (0-0, 12.00)

Wednesday, April 21, 2021

Up Next: ETSU

The Cats travel to Johnson City to face the Bucs of East Tennessee State this weekend.  The Bucs are currently 7-8 in the SoCon, the Bucs are in second place in the Blue division. 

When: Friday & Saturday, April 23 & 24, 2021, at 5:00 pm & 1:00 pm
Where: Thomas Stadium, Johnson City, TN
Radio: none 
TV/video: ESPN+ 
Live Stats: ETSU Live stats 
ETSU Fan Message Board: Buccaneer Nation

Head Coach: Joe Pennucci - head coach at ETSU since Jul 2017 - 
Pennucci's Record:  74-49 overall 
Alma Mater: University of Northern Colorado

Pennucci's record vs. WCU:    6-1
Moranda's record vs. ETSU: 12-12

2021 ETSU Baseball Record: 17-16 overall, 7-8 SoCon, 11-7 home, 6-9 away, 0-0 neutral 
2020 ETSU Baseball Record: 12-3 overall, 0-0 conf., 11-1 home, 1-2 away, 0-0 neutral 
The Series: The Cats are 68-39 overall against the Bucs, but have lost 6 of the last 7 games played. The Cats are 27-14 overall in games played in Johnson City.

The Bucs are coming off a series loss to The Citadel in Charleston where ETSU split the Saturday Twin Bill and dropped the series at The Citadel, the last-place team in the Red division.

Projected Pitching Match-Up: 
Game 1: WCU – Soph. RHP Zebby Matthews (5-1, 2.92) vs. ETSU – RHP So. Hunter Loyd (4-2, 2.92) Game 2: WCU – R-Jr. RHP Ryan Mitschele (3-2, 5.13) vs. ETSU – LHP Jr. Colby Stuart (4-1, 2.98) Game 3: WCU – Jr. RHP Tristen Campbell (2-0, 4.30) vs. ETSU – RHP Jr. Nathanial Tate (3-3, 4.22)

Sunday, April 18, 2021

Up Next: Wake Forest

Wake Forest travels to Cullowhee on Tuesday, for the WCU home portion of a home and home baseball series originally scheduled by the two schools. The first game scheduled earlier this season was to be played in Winston-Salem and was canceled. This will be the 13th meeting between the two teams on the diamond, with both teams having won 6 games each in the series.   

When: Tuesday, April 20, 2021, at 6:00 pm 
Where: Hennon Stadium, Cullowhee, NC
Radio: none
TV/video:  ESPN+
Live StatsWCU Live stats
Conference: ACC
Mascot: Demon Deacon
WF Fan Message Board: Old Gold and Black Board

Head Coach: Tom Walter - head coach at WF since June 2009 -
Walter's Record   
723-607 overall
Alma Mater: Georgetown, 1991

Walter's record vs. WCU:  3-2
Moranda's record vs. WF:  2-3
2021 WF Baseball Record: 12-17 overall, 6-14 ACC, 6-9 home, 6-8 away, 0-0 neutral
2020 WF Baseball Record: 10-8 overall, 1-2 conf., 10-4 home, 0-4 away, 3-0 neutral

The Series: The Cats are 6-6 overall against the Demon Deacons, and are 2-2 in the last 4 games played.  The Cats are 1-1 in games played in Cullowhee and are 5-5 in games played in Winston-Salem vs. Wake Forest. 

The Deacons were picked to finish 5th in the Atlantic Division of the ACC.  Currently, WF is 12th in team batting, hitting .240 as a team. Wake Forest comes to Cullowhee having dropped two-straight in ACC play at Duke over the weekend. The Demon Deacons have lost eight of their last 11 games with the three victories coming at Louisville, at Appalachian State, and the opener over Duke, last Friday. Wake is batting .243 collectively as a team with two starters – Lucas Costello (.318) and Brock Wilken (.301) – batting over .300.

Projected Pitching Match-Up: 
WCU – Fr. RHP #44 Carson Lowder (0-0, 4.97) vs. WAKE – Fr. RHP #40 Reed Mascolo (2-1, 1.40)

SoCon Standings:
Samford  12-3 SoCon, 22-14 
ETSU      7-8 SoCon, 17-16 
VMI        5-10 SoCon, 9-20 
UNCG    3-12 SoCon, 15-19 

WCU        8-3 SoCon, 20-9 
Wofford  10-5 SoCon, 21-13 
Mercer     8-4 SoCon, 20-15 
Citadel     3-11 SoCon, 11-20

Wednesday, April 14, 2021

Up Next: Samford

The league-leading Samford Bulldogs travel to Cullowhee for the only three-game series this season with the Catamounts. The Bulldogs lead the blue division and the league in conference wins with an 11-1 record. The Bulldogs like the Cats are coming off a mid-week loss to an SEC opponent.  

When: Friday & Saturday (DH), April 16 & 17, 2021, at 5:00 pm 
Where: Hennon Stadium, Cullowhee, NC
Radio: none
TV/video:  ESPN+
Live StatsWCU Live stats
Bulldog Fan Message Board: The Dog Pound

Head CoachCasey Dunn - head coach at Samford since 2004 -
Dunn's Record at Samford:  519-209 Career Record (17th season) 
Alma Mater: Auburn 

Bobby Moranda's record vs. Samford: 17-23
Casey Dunns record vs. WCU:   23-17
2021 Samford Baseball Record: 21-12 overall, 11-1 SoCon, 19-3 home, 6-9 away, 0-0 neutral
2020 Samford Baseball Record: 13-2 overall, 0-0 conf., 8-0 home, 3-1 away, 2-1 neutral

The Series: The Cats are 17-23 overall against Samford, and have lost the last five games played against the Bulldogs. The Cats last win occurred in May 2018 in Cullowhee, a 10-9 victory.  The Cats are 10-5 in games played in Cullowhee vs. the Bulldogs.  

Picked by both the coaches and media polls in preseason  #1, the Bulldogs had 7 players on the 1st and 2d all-conference teams, while Samford junior second baseman Brooks Carlson was named the Southern Conference’s Preseason Player of the Year.  Carlson batted .500 (25-of-50) in the COVID-shortened 2020 season. 

The Bulldogs swept a three-game series with The Citadel over the weekend, but dropped a mid-week game versus Alabama on Tuesday night, 3-19.  

Samford players are in the top five in the Southern Conference in several statistical categories. Samford players rank in the top five in the league in hits (Max Pinto-4th--38), home runs (Sonny DiChiara-T-2nd--8), walks (Sonny DiChiara-1st--31), stolen bases (Max Pinto-T-1st--14), total plate appearances (Sonny DiChiara-3rd--142), batters struck out (Jesse McCord-4th--52), wins (Carson Cupo-T-3rd--4), saves (Chase Isbell-T-1st--5), appearances (Carson Cupo-1st--17), games finished (Chase Isbell-1st--14), games in relief (Carson Cupo-1st--17) and fewest walks allowed (Samuel Strickland-T3rd--8). 

Monday, April 12, 2021

WCU Baseball - #3 Tennessee

The #3 nationally ranked Tennessee Volunteers travel to Cullowhee to face the Catamounts for the second part of this season's home and home between the two teams. This will be the 29th meeting between the two teams on the diamond, the Cats and Volunteers last played in Knoxville on March 30, 2021.   

When: Tuesday, April 13, 2021, at 5:00 pm 
Where: Hennon Stadium, Cullowhee, NC
TV/video:  ESPN+
Live Stats:  WCU Live stats
Conference: SEC
Mascot: Volunteers
UT Fan Message Board: VolNation

Head Coach: Tony Vitello - head coach at UT since 2017 -
Vitello's Record at UT: 102-54 (4th Year) 
 Alma Mater: Missouri (‘02) Hometown: St. Louis, Mo. 
2021 UT Baseball Record: 27-6 overall, 9-3 SEC, 19-3 home, 8-3 away, 0-0 neutral
2020 UT Baseball Record: 15-2 overall, 0-0 conf., 12-2 home, 0-0 away, 3-0 neutral

The Series: The Cats are 6-22 overall against Tennessee, and have lost the last five games played against the Volunteers. The Cats last win occurred in April 2010 in Knoxville, a 14-9 victory.  The Cats are 2-5 in games played in Cullowhee vs. the Volunteers. 

Positional Starters Returning/Lost: 8/2
Pitchers Returning/Lost: 11/3
Letterwinners Returning/Lost: 21/8
Newcomers: 17

After finishing 2020 ranked second nationally in home runs with 31, the Vols have continued to hit the long ball at a high rate.  UT is averaging over one homer per game and ranks 26th in the country with 24 this season. Drew Gilbert and Jordan Beck are tied for the team lead with five homers each. Jake Rucker (3), Luc Lipcius (3), Liam Spence (2), and Max Ferguson (2) have also gone yard multiple times. 

The Volunteers have faced two SoCon teams this season, a three-game series vs. UNCG and 1 game vs. ETSU, winning all four games.  After taking the first two games of the weekend series, No. 4 Tennessee was unable to complete the series sweep over No. 9 Florida, falling 7-6 Sunday afternoon at Lindsey Nelson Stadium.

UT is ranked No. 3 in the USA Today Top 25 and Perfect Game top 25 poll.  This will be the second meeting between the two programs this season after the Vols earned a 9-2 win in Knoxville on March 30. The Catamounts enter Tuesday's contest on a five-game winning streak.

Projected Starting Pitchers:
WCU – Fr. RHP #44  Carson Lowder (0-0, 4.15) vs. TENN – Fr. LHP Jake Fitzgibbons (1-0, 6.14)

Friday, April 9, 2021

WCU Makes Football Coaching Change

Western Carolina University Director of Athletics Alex Gary announced Friday a leadership change for Catamount football.  Mark Speir will not be returning as head coach.

"After a thorough evaluation of the program, I feel that it is time we move in a different direction," said Gary. "We are grateful for Coach Speir's nine years of dedicated service and efforts on behalf of the Catamount football program."

Courtesy WCU Media Relations

Thursday, April 8, 2021

WCU Baseball - Up Next: VMI

The Cats return to Cullowhee for a Southern Conference series vs. the VMI KeydetsThe three-game series is now scheduled to open on Saturday afternoon at 2 p.m. with a doubleheader and a scheduled Sunday finale at 3 p.m. This will be the Cats third conference series of the season.  

When: Saturday & Sunday,  April 10 & 11, 2021, at 2 pm
WhereHennon Stadium, Cullowhee, NC  
Radio: none
-announcer:  Daniel Hooker
Live StatsWCU Live Stats
VMI Fan Message Board:  Keydet Sportstalk

Head CoachJonathan Hadra - 
Record at VMI:  109-167 (Sixth Season) 
Overall Record: Same

2021 VMI Baseball Record: 16-7 overall, 2-7 conf., 4-8 home, 2-9 away, 0-0 neutral
2020 VMI Baseball Record: 4-13 overall, 0-0 conf., 3-7 home, 1-6 away, 0-0 neutral

The Series: The Cats are 64-22 overall vs. the Keydets, posting a 32-9 record of games played in Cullowhee and 23-11 in games played in Lexington. However, the Keydets have won 5 of the last 6 games played

Bobby Moranda's record vs. VMI: 8-7
Jonathan Hadra's record vs. WCU: 7-8

The Keydets are coming out of this season's blue division and will only play this one this season, all teams in WCU's red division will be played twice. The Keydets are coming off a series sweep by Samford in Birmingham last weekend and currently reside in the cellar of the blue division with a 2-7 conference record.

Probable Starting Pitchers:
Saturday Game 1: WCU – Soph. RHP Zebby Matthews (4-1, 3.19) vs. VMI LHP Nathan Light 
Saturday Game 2: WCU – Jr. RHP Ryan Mitschele (2-1, 3.91) vs. VMI RHP Jacob Menders 
Sunday Game 3: WCU – Fr. RHP Corey Bright (0-0, 5.40) vs. VMI vs. SU RHP Zach Hester


Tuesday, April 6, 2021

Up Next - Gardner-Webb

The Cats travel to Boiling Springs, NC  to face the Gardner-Webb Runnin' Bulldogs in John H. Moss Stadium on Wednesday, April 7th in what will be the 26th meeting between the two teams on the diamond. The two teams will play a home & home series this season. 

: Wednesday, April 7, 2021, at 6:30 pm 
Where: John H. Moss Stadium  - Boiling Springs, NC
-announcersDanial Hooker on at 4:45 pm
TV/video: none
Live Stats: G-W Live stats
Conference: Big South
Mascot: Runnin' Bulldog
GW Fan Message Board: GW Fans Message Board
TicketsTicket information

Head CoachJim Chester - head coach at GW since 2019 
Record at UT:  18-18  (2nd Year) 
2021 UT Baseball Record: 11q-10 overall, 10-4 conf, 5-3 home, 6-7 away, 0-0 neutral
2020 UT Baseball Record: 8-8 overall, 0-0 conf., 6-2 home, 2-6 away, 0-0 neutral

The Series: The Cats are 15-9-1 overall against GWU, but have lost four of the last five games played against the Runnin' Bulldogs. The Cats are 8-4 in games played in Boiling Springs

Bobby Moranda's record vs. GWU:  9-5
Jim Chester's record vs. WCU:  0-0

Gardner-Webb has now swept each of its last two-weekend conference series and has won seven straight league games. The Runnin' Bulldogs return to action Tuesday evening, traveling to Radford for a midweek Big South battle, prior to Wednesday's game with WCU. 

Gardner-Webb is coming into the game riding a 4 game win streak after knocking off Radford on Tuesday night. GWU enters the game batting .249 collectively as a team with three regulars batting above the .300 threshold. Bo Rusher leads the team with a .321 batting average including 18 hits with four doubles and 10 RBI. Keiji Parkhurst paces the Runnin' Bulldogs with 16 RBI, one of five players with double-digit RBI to date.
Projected Pitching Match-Up
WCU – R-Jr. RHP Tristen Campbell (0-0. 3.38 ERA) vs. GWU – Jr. RHP Noah Davis (0-1, 12.46)

Monday, April 5, 2021

2021 SoCon Football Power Rankings - (after week #7)

Updated:  The Wofford Terriers dropped out of spring football this morning, so we're doing the same, dropping them from the rankings.

Welcome to Purple & Gold's 2021 SoCon Football Power Rankings after week #7 of conference play.

Each Monday throughout the spring season, we'll release that week's Power Rankings.

Here are this week's power rankings after 7 weeks of conference play (last week's ranking in parenthesis):

1. (2) ETSU  (4-1 SoCon, 4-1)
Next: at Mercer

2. (1) VMI ( 5-1 SoCon, 5-1)
Next:  ETSU

3. (5) Mercer (4-2 SoCon, 4-5)
Next:  ETSU

4. (4) Samford (3-3 SoCon, 3-3)
Next:  Bye 

5. (3) Furman (3-3 SoCon, 3-3)
Next: at The Citadel

6. (7) Western Carolina  (1-5 SoCon, 1-8)
Next:  Wofford

7. (8) The Citadel  (1-5 SoCon, 9-9)
Next:  Furman

The Quitters.....

Chattanooga - opted out
Next:  quit the season.

Wofford - opted out
Next:  quit the season.


Thursday, April 1, 2021

Baseball - Up Next: Wofford


The Cats will travel to Spartanburg to meet the Wofford Terriers for a three-game series this weekend. The Terriers have a series win in Charleston vs. the Citadel and a series loss in Macon vs. Mercer.  

When: Friday & Saturday, Apr 2 & 3, 2021
Time:  Friday at 5 pm, Sat, DH at 2 pm
Where: Russel King Field, Spartanburg, SC
Radio: None
TV/video: ESPN+  (Friday only)
Live Stats: Wofford Live Stats
Wofford Fan Message Board: Wofford Fans
TicketsTicket information

Head Coach: Todd Interdonato - head coach in his 14th season -
350 career wins
Alma Mater: UNC Asheville
2021 UT Baseball Record: 14-10 overall, 3-3 SoCon, 8-2 home, 6-8 away, 0-0 neutral
2020 UT Baseball Record: 14-3 overall, 0-0 SoCon, 13-2 home, 1-1 away, 0-0 neutral

The Series: The Cats are 70-21 overall against Wofford, and have lost five of the last six games played against the Terriers. The Cats are 29-10 in games played in Spartanburg.  

Position Starters Returning/Lost: 4 / 5 
Pitchers Returning/Lost: 13 / 7 
Overall Lettermen Returning/Lost: 26 / 13 
Incoming Players: 17

Wofford was picked to finish 3d in both preseason polls, and Hayes Heinecke, Jr. was selected as the preseason pitcher of the year.  Junior shortstop Matty Brown, senior outfielder Colin Davis, & senior designated hitter Lawson Hill, were 1st team all-conference selections and junior 1st baseman John Dempsey was named to the second team. 

In the 2021 season, the team returns four starters in the field along with 13 pitchers ... Overall 26 players returned to the team with 17 newcomers. Wofford is currently in the top 20 nationally in walks (14th), stolen bases (5th), sacrifice bunts (16th), stolen bases per game (14th) and walked allowed per nine innings (12th). Individually Lawson Hill is ranked in doubles (6th) and Jack Renwick is 17th in stolen bases.

The Terriers are coming off a 6-7 loss to former SoCon member Davidson College on Tuesday. This will be the Terriers' opening conference series in Spartanburg this season, and Wofford is 8-2 at home against non-conference competition.  

Projected Pitching Rotation: 
Fri.: WCU – Soph. RHP Zebby Matthews (4-1, 3.19) vs. WOF – Jr. LHP Hayes Heinecke (2-4, 4.42) Sat., Gm 1: WCU – Jr. RHP Ryan Mitschele (2-1, 3.91) vs. WOF – Fr. LHP Sam Stratton (1-1, 2.25 ERA) 
Sat., Gm 2: WCU – Fr. RHP Corey Bright (0-0, 5.40) vs. WOF – Sr. RHP Elliot Carney (3-2, 3.58)