Western Carolina rallies past Baseball Bucs
Mendez
Mendez

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. (Apr. 13, 2007) - Western Carolina scored five runs over the final three innings, and the Catamount bullpen held the Bucs to five hits over the final five innings, rallying for a 7-3 non-conference victory Wednesday night at Hennon Stadium.

 

Second baseman Kenny Smith hit his team-leading 12th home run of the season, a two-run blast with two outs in the sixth inning, erasing a 3-2 deficit and giving the Catamounts (24-12) a lead they never relinquished.

 

The Bucs (24-16) dropped their fourth consecutive game, their longest losing skid of the season, despite a career high eight strikeout performance from freshman Drew Story (Jefferson City, Tenn.).

 

Trailing 1-0 entering the third inning, the Bucs tied the game when senior C.J. Lee (Bristol, Va.) scored on junior Anthony Russell's (Waldorf, Md.) sacrifice fly.

 

Freshman Justin Tramble (Marietta, Ga.) plated the second ETSU run in the fourth on another sac fly, scoring freshman Danny Petro (Atlanta, Ga.).  A double steal resulted in the final out of the inning, but sophomore Troy Mendez (Roswell, Ga.) crossed the plate before the out was recorded, giving the Bucs their first lead of the night.

 

Story held the lead into the sixth before Smith's home run, and the Catamounts added three insurance runs in the seventh and eighth innings off Buccaneer relievers for the final margin.

 

Story (2-3) allowed just five hits in six innings of work, but two home runs resulted in three of his four allowed runs as he took his third loss of the season.  Brock Thornburg pitched three innings of relief, striking out five batters and improving to 2-2 on the season.

 

The Bucs return to conference play this weekend, taking on Belmont in a crucial Atlantic Sun match-up. First pitch is scheduled for 4 p.m. eastern time Friday afternoon in Nashville, Tenn.

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