CLINTON, S.C. – Western Carolina plated three runs in its final two at-bats of the game to edge past the Presbyterian College baseball team, 9-6, on Tuesday afternoon at the PC Baseball Complex in Clinton, S.C. PC drops to 18-17 overall, while the Catamounts improve to 16-15.

How It Happened

Both teams got the bats going early, each scoring in the first. Western Carolina start the game with a run in the top half. After a leadoff groundout, Nobu Suzuki walked and Bryson Bowman singled through right side to put two aboard with one out. Two batters later, Caleb Robinson singled to left to score Suzuki from second and put the Catamounts in front 1-0.

PC quickly responded with two runs to take the lead after the first. Glen Casaceli drew a leadoff walk and Tyler Weyenberg singled to left to put two on with no outs. After a wild pitch moved both runners up, Cletis Avery walked to load the bases. Reigning Big South Player of the Week AJ Priaulx then tied the game with an RBI single to right with the bases still loaded and no outs. After a strikeout and a flyout, a wild pitch allowed Weyenberg to score to make it 2-1 PC after one.

The Blue Hose kept their foot on the gas in the second, scoring three more times to stretch the lead. With two outs, Weyenberg singled for the second time in two innings, before stealing second and moving to third on a passed ball. Avery drove him in with an RBI single through the left side to make it a 3-1 game. Priaulx then capped off the inning with a two-run home run to right, his third of the season, to make it a 5-1 PC lead.

The Catamounts answered this time, tying the game with a four-run third inning. Robinson singled with one out and Andrew Bullock followed with a walk to put two on, before a wild pitch allowed both to move in to scoring position. Spencer Holcomb drove in the first with an RBI groundout to short and a passed ball brought in the second to make it a 5-3 game. A walk then put a runner aboard with two outs and forced a PC pitching change. Cameron Blaquiere then tied the game with a two-run home run to left, making it a 5-5 game.

Both teams then added a run in the sixth to keep the game tied. Western Carolina loaded the bases with no outs in the top half but only managed to bring across one, coming on a sac fly by Matt Smith. In the bottom half, Nick Guimbarda singled to right center, moved to third on an error and scored on an RBI groundout by Brett Auckland to tie the game at 6-6.

WCU was able to pull ahead late, getting a run in the eighth and two more in the ninth to take the 9-6 victory. An RBI single by Bullock scored the lone run in the eighth to give the Catamounts a one-run advantage. A double by Matthew Koehler and a single by Blaquiere led to runs in the ninth to extend the lead to the eventual final score.

Pitchers of Record

WCU reliever Dillon Bray (1-3) earned the win in relief, throwing the final 7.0 innings of the game and allowing one unearned run on two hits with three walks and three strikeouts.

PC reliever Robert Moss (2-1) suffered the loss, allowing one run on one hit with one walk in 1.1 innings on the hill.

Player of the Game

AJ Priaulx continued his hot hitting at the plate, going 2-for-4 with a homer, a run and three RBIs for the Blue Hose. The home run was his third of the season but his first at home this year. He has now hit safely in each of his last five games, after earning Big South Player of the Week last week.

Notables

- Cletis Avery was 1-for-2 with two walks, a run and an RBI in the loss. Avery extended his hitting streak to 11 games, longest by a Blue Hose play this season.

- Tyler Weyenberg went 2-for-5 with two runs batting out of the two-spot in the order. The lefty has managed two hits in three of his last four games now.

- The top four batters in the PC order combined for six of PC’s seven hits in the game, going 6-for-14 (.429) with five runs and four RBIs.

Up Next

Conference play rolls on for PC this weekend, as the Blue Hose travel to Longwood for a three-game series beginning on Thursday in Farmville, Va.