Western Carolina Takes Saturday Double-Header; Sweeps The Citadel for Second-Consecutive Season, 5-2 and 11-2

Stephen Notaro hits .625 in the double-header; Chris Masters and Tyler Sexton earn victories in relief

Sophomore reliever Chris Masters earned the win after five scoreless innings of relief work in game two on Saturday as WCU swept The Citadel.

Sophomore reliever Chris Masters earned the win after five scoreless innings of relief work in game two on Saturday as WCU swept The Citadel.

May 10, 2008

Box Score

Charleston, S.C. - Western Carolina took both games of Saturday's Southern Conference twin bill, rallying in the top of the 10th inning to upend The Citadel, 5-2, in game one, and then leading from start-to-finish to complete the regular season sweep of the Bulldogs with an 11-2 victory in game three.

Saturday's two wins stretch Western's current winning streak to a season-long eight games. It also pushed the Catamounts to 27-24 overall, 13-11 in conference play while The Citadel dropped to 25-26, 12-15 in the SoCon. WCU has taken the three-game season series in back-to-back years over the Bulldogs marking the first-time since 1986-87 that it has happened and only the third seasonal sweep since 1989.

After securing a two-run lead with solo runs in the top of the fifth and sixth innings, Western Carolina surrendered its 2-0 lead in the bottom of the seventh inning of game one on back-to-back solo home runs, chasing Catamount starter Drew Saberhagen. The junior from Calabasas, Calif., ended up receiving a no-decision despite limiting the Bulldogs to four hits through 6.1 innings of work. However, junior reliever Garrett Ozar kept The Citadel scoreless in the 2.1 frames he pitched to help force extra innings.

With one out in the top of the 10th, sophomore Stephen Notaro blasted a solo homer over the fence in left field to give the Catamounts the go-ahead and game-winning run. WCU plated two additional runs, capitalizing on a pair of singles and an intentional walk with two runs coming on a Bulldog throwing error to win, 5-2.

Senior Tyler Sexton (3-4) garnered his third victory of the season as the High Point, N.C., native worked the final 1.1 inning of one-hit relief facing the minimum number of hitters.

Notaro led WCU on the day with a .625 average (5-for-8) with a double, home run and two runs scored. Senior Blake Murphy finished 4-for-8 (.500) with two doubles and a homer, scoring three times. Sophomore Tyler Kirkpatrick tallied three hits in game one finishing 3-for-4.

Senior Barrett Shaft moved into third place in SoCon history in career base hits. Western's all-time leader concluded the day with 327 base hits moving him past former Georgia Southern slugger, Scott Henley (326, 1998-01) on the all-time list. He continues to chase second place, Chris Campbell (355, 2004-07) from the College of Charleston and Philip Hartig (360, 1998-01) from The Citadel.

In game two of the double-header, Western Carolina plated five runs in the first two innings, tallying two-or-more runs in four of the nine frames en route to the 11-2 victory giving the Catamounts the series sweep.

Western had six players post multiple-hit games as Notaro and shortstop Mitchell Hatley both finished 2-for-3, with the latter posting a game-high three runs scored. Murphy finished 2-for-4 with two RBI, with classmate Shaft also driving in a pair with a 1-for-5 outing.

Reigning SoCon Pitcher of the Week, WCU sophomore Chris Masters (7-4) who garnered the honor for a third time this season last week, picked up his seventh victory of the year after working five innings of scoreless, two-hit relief. The Marietta, Ga, native worked around three walks with five strikeouts in helping to shutdown the Bulldog offense. Starter Corey Martin worked 2.2 innings allowing four hits and two runs, only one of which was earned. Ozar again saw action out of WCU's bullpen, tossing the final 1.1 inning hitless and scoreless with one strikeout.

Western Carolina will step out of conference on Tuesday night as it visits former SoCon-foe, East Tennessee State in Johnson City at 7:00 pm. WCU edged ETSU, 12-11, back on March 25 as senior Jason Haynes blasted a two-run, walk-off home run to lift the Catamounts to the win.

Tuesday's game will be broadcast by the Catamount Sports Network and can be heard locally on WWCU-FM, Power 90dot5 in Cullowhee or online at www.WWCUFM.com.

 

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