May 29, 2010
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CBI Live: SoCon Game
11: #7 ASU 3, #6 WCU 2
CBI Live: SoCon Game
12: #1 The Citadel 6, #4 Elon 5 (10)
Another SoCon thriller
puts WCU in championship game
By Phil Stanton
S.C. – It was the third walk-off win of the day by the third
After seventh-seeded Appalachian State tied it in
the top of the ninth, freshman Tyler White had the game-winning
hit in the bottom of the frame as sixth-seeded Western Carolina
posted a 7-6 victory on Day 4 of the Southern Conference
Tournament at Joseph P. Riley, Jr. Park.
The Catamounts (37-20-1) will meet top-seeded The
Citadel in the championship game on Sunday at 2 p.m. EDT. The
Mountaineers complete their season at 38-18-1.
“What an awesome tournament,” said WCU head coach
Bobby Moranda. “We have a great league here. I think our league
nationally is very underrated and deserves a lot more respect
that what it’s getting. Our league is outstanding from top to
bottom and I feel that’s why the tournament has been so tight
and well-played excellent baseball games. Today was no
exception. That was an excellent baseball game – no errors,
tremendous relief pitching, competitive by both teams, just
Ross Heffley (pictured above) had a leadoff
single in the bottom of the ninth and was sacrificed to second.
Trevor Collias was intentionally walked and Cameron Dullrig was
hit by a pitch to load the bases. White dropped a single into
right to plate Heffley with the game-winner.
“I was hoping to get something up in the zone to
get out in the outfield so the run could score and win the
game,” White said.
Brandon Johnson (9-1) got the win in relief,
working three innings with three hits, one run, three walks and
four strikeouts. Andrew Chilcoat was also effective out of the
bullpen for the Mountaineers, allowing five hits and one run in
3.1 innings with one walk and two strikeouts.
Hector Crespo had a single in the top of the
ninth and scored on a base hit by David Towarnicky as ASU tied
it at six.
“In all the games that we’ve played,” said ASU
head coach Chris Pollard, “as well as the whole tournament,
there has been a lot of walk-off wins. It’s a sign of the
strength of the conference to have so many close ballgames and
good battles like that. I thought that Western played well. I
thought both clubs played well. I’m really proud of our guys. A
couple of plays here or there, it could have been a different
Towarnicky belted a
three-run homer with two outs in the top of the third to give
ASU a 4-1 lead.
Tyler Kirkpatrick ripped a two-run double in the
third and Ollie Goulder belted a two-run homer in the fourth as
WCU took a 5-4 advantage.
Crespo singled and scored
on a double play in the fifth as the Mountaineers tied it at 5.
Goulder finished with two
hits and three RBI. White had two hits and scored twice. Heffley
and Matt Johns both added a pair of hits for WCU.
Towarnicky, a senior
Academic All-American, had two hits and four RBI for ASU. Crespo
had three hits and three runs, while senior Wes Hobson went 3
for 3 to raise his batting average to .404.
“They’ll leave a legacy and leave a mark,”
Pollard said. “The guys that have been here four years are some
of the winningest seniors in the 100-plus-year history of the
program. Not only that, but they are great kids and they’re
great representatives for Appalachian State and they certainly
will be missed.”
WCU had scored in the
bottom of the ninth this morning to register a 3-2 win over ASU
to force the second game of the day.
“We talked about adversity is preparation for
greatness,” Moranda said. “We talked about that between games.
You just have to keep fighting in the game of baseball. There’s
no clock. If you fight and you compete, and you have the proper
attitude, you give yourself an opportunity. We did that from
start to finish tonight. Hopefully we can come out tomorrow with
some energy and give The Citadel a game.”
The last time WCU won the SoCon title was in 2003
as the top seed. The last appearance in the championship game
for the Catamounts came in 2004, when The Citadel beat WCU in
the final two games of the tournament to claim the crown.
“That’s where we wanted to be,” Moranda said.
“You want to get to Championship Sunday in these tournaments.
I’ve been to a bunch of these and you just survive to get there.
Once you get there, anything can happen. We’re really pleased.
We’ll going to enjoy this one tonight and we’ll start getting
after it in the morning getting ready for tomorrow’s game.”
(photos courtesy of Southern
Conference Media Relations Office)