Johnson City, Tenn. (May 9, 2002) - Western Carolina pounded out 17 hits to score 16 runs tonight at Cardinal Park as the Catamounts erupted early with a six-run first inning and never looked back as they defeated East Tennessee State 16-3 in Southern Conference baseball action.
Western Carolina (30-17, 19-9 SoCon) wasted no time getting on the board, scoring six times in the first off starter Tim Turner (Marietta, Ga.). After a lead off walk, the Catamounts put together three straight hits, including a run-scoring triple from Alex Gary. The Catamounts then proceeded to load the bases before Rod Goldston, in his second at bat of the inning, looped a two-run single to center that plated the last two runs of the inning.
Three more runs in the third pushed the WCU lead to 9-0. A pair of hits and a sacrifice put runners on second and third with one out. Goldston brought home the first run with a ground out to second, with Dan Woodley later scoring on a passed ball. Ryan Schade then doubled home Gary with the final run of the inning. The Catamounts then put the game away with another three-spot in the fourth when Todd Roper laced a based-loaded double that scored all three runs.
WCU added another run in the sixth on an RBI double by Alan Beck, before adding three more in the seventh on a leadoff home run by Goldston and a two-run blast by Beck.
East Tennessee State (19-29, 11-13 SoCon) got on the board in the eighth with a pair of runs. The Bucs loaded the bases on singles by Bryan Crouse (Kingston, Tenn.), John Gorton (Hinsdale, N.H.) and Jeremy Terry (Cumberland, Ky.). With one out Brandon Cross (Bluff City, Tenn.) brought home the first run with a fielder's choice before Mike Giroud (St. Petersburg, Fla.) singled home Gorton with the second run. Crouse later slammed a pitch over the wall in left center in the ninth to account for the final ETSU run.
WCU starter Jared Burton was in control while he was in the game, allowing just four hits and no runs in 6.0 innings, striking out seven against one walk. He picked up his 200th career strikeout on his way to winning his seventh decision of the season. Turner was tagged with the loss, allowing 11 runs in 3.1 innings.
Goldston led the WCU attack, going 2-for-5 with four RBIs and two runs scored. Schade and Beck each had three hits for the Catamounts. Crouse and Terry led ETSU with two hits each.
The two teams will continue the three-game series on Saturday at 2:00 p.m. at Cardinal Park.