CULLOWHEE, N.C. – Presbyterian College pitchers Robert Moss and Russ Branch combined to shutout Western Carolina, 6-0, on Tuesday evening in the non-conference finale for the Blue Hose at Hennon Stadium in Cullowhee, N.C. PC improves to 28-25 overall, establishing a new Division I era program record for wins in a season, while Western Carolina drops to 26-26 overall.
How It Happened
PC got on the board with a run in the third. A one-out single by Cletis Avery followed by a double from TJ Richardson put runners at second and third. An RBI groundout to second by AJ Priaulx then plated Avery from third to put PC in front 1-0.
The Blue Hose were able to manufacture another run in the fifth. Tyler Weyenberg led off the inning with a bunt single to put a man aboard. He then stole second and moved to third on an errant throw by the catcher. Avery then scored him with a sac fly to center to make it a 2-0 lead.
PC then broke the game wide open with a four-run sixth inning. Thatcher Coleman reached on an error by the second baseman to start the inning and Andrew Bladt moved him to second with a sac bunt. Guy Casaceli drew a walk to put two on, before Weyenberg reached on a fielder's choice as bad throw to third allowed Coleman to advance and loaded the bases. Avery then came through again, doubling inside the third base bag to drive in two and Richardson followed with a single to right center to score two more to give PC a 6-0 lead.
That was all the runs the Blue Hose would need, as Moss and Branch shut the Catamounts down. Western Carolina managed just two base runners at the same time twice and put just three base runners in scoring position all night.
Pitchers of Record
Robert Moss (3-1) earned the victory in his first career start, holding the Catamounts without a run in 5.1 innings pitched. He allowed just two hits and issued just a lone walk with one strikeout.
Chad Mabini (2-1) suffered the loss, allowing one run on two hits in 1.2 innings of relief with one strikeouts and no walk.
Russ Branch earned his second save of the season, working 3.2 scoreless innings in relief and allowing just two hits with no walks and one strikeout.
Player of the Game
Cletis Avery had a big day at the plate, going 2-for-4 with a double, two runs and three RBIs to lead PC to the victory. The righty scored PC's first run of the game, before driving runs with a sac fly and a two-RBI double. It was his 10th multi-hit game of the season and ninth multi-RBI game of the season, second-most on the team.
- Robert Moss turned in one of the best performances of his career, as he made his first career start. The righty worked 5.1 scoreless innings and allowed just two hits and one walk with one strikeout.
- TJ Richardson continued his good work of late, going 3-for-4 with two RBIs to improve his average to .331 on the year. It was his second three-hit game of the season and 14th multi-hit game of the year.
- Tyler Weyenberg went 1-for-4 with two runs scored, batting in the leadoff spot for the Blue Hose.
- It was the third shutout of the year by PC pitching. The Blue Hose shutout Army, 9-0, and Winthrop, 5-0, earlier this year.
The Blue Hose conclude the regular season this weekend with a three-game series at Liberty beginning on Friday in Lynchburg, Va. The two are currently tied for second in the Big South standings with matching 14-7 conference records.