Western Carolina down Clemson 8-4 in front of 1,627 fans at Hennon Stadium on Wednesday. The Catamounts, who won their 12th home game in a row dating to 2011, improved to 13-4. The Tigers dropped to 6-8 in 2012.
With Western Carolina trailing 4-1, Head Coach Bobby Moranda called upon Gragg to
provide a spark for the Catamounts, and he did just that. He led off the fourth
inning with a single and started their seven-run inning on six hits. Later in the
frame, Gragg laced a two-out single to score two runs and close out the game's
Jon Nadale (2-0), the second of four Catamount hurlers, earned the win by allowing
just two hits, no runs, and one walk with four strikeouts in 4.0 innings pitched.
The three Catamount relievers combined to give up just two hits in the final 6.0
innings pitched. At one point, starter Adam Curtis and Nadale combined to retire 14
Tigers in a row.
David Haselden (1-1) suffered the loss, as he gave up four runs on four hits in 0.1
innings pitched in relief of freshman righthander Daniel Gossett, who was making his
first career start.
The Catamounts struck first in the first inning. Aaron Attaway lined the first
pitch to right field for a leadoff single, then Tyler White flared a 1-2 pitch down
the right-field line for a single to move Attaway to third. Ross Heffley lined into
a double play, but Jacob Hoyle laced a two-out single to center to score Attaway.
The Tigers came right back and tied the score in the second inning. Phil Pohl led
off with a bloop single to left-center on an 0-2 pitch, then Spencer Kieboom hit a
potential double-play grounder to Attaway. But the ball took a high hop and got by
the shortstop to allow Pohl to advance to third and Kieboom to move to second on the
error. Jon McGibbon grounded out to second to score Pohl and advance Kieboom to
third, but the next two Tigers were unable to plate the go-ahead run.
In the third inning, Thomas Brittle led off with a bunt single and advanced to
second on the play on a throwing error. Steve Wilkerson followed with a groundball
single up the middle and Jason Stolz reached on another bunt single. Shaffer flied
out to right field to move Wilkerson to third, then Wilkerson scored when the throw
got by White at third. Curtis' throw home was also errant, allowing Stolz to
advance to third on Western Carolina's third error of the frame and fourth of the
game. Pohl then hit a sacrifice fly to left-center to score Stolz.
But the Catamounts scored seven runs in the fourth inning to regain the lead for
good. Gragg led off with a single to left-center and Dykota Spiess walked on nine
pitches. Adam Martin, who was unsuccessful getting a bunt down, belted a two-strike
double to right-center to score Gragg and Spiess. After Martin advanced to third on
Attaway's groundout to short, he scored on a wild pitch to tie the score. White
followed with a hit-by-pitch, then Heffley crushed a two-run homer to left field,
his second long ball of the year. Hoyle followed with a single to right-center.
Two batters later with two outs, Cody Jones reached on an infield single as Hoyle
advanced to third base on the play. After Jones advanced to second on a wild pitch,
Gragg lined a single through the left side to score Hoyle and Jones.
In the seventh inning, Garrett Boulware hit a two-out single to left-center and
Brittle walked. Wilkerson then grounded a single through the left side, but Spiess
gunned down Boulware at the plate to end the inning and keep the Catamounts ahead
Gragg and Jones led Western Carolina's 14-hit attack with three hits apiece, while
White, Heffley, and Hoyle added two hits apiece.
Wilkerson went 3-for-4 with an RBI to pace the Tigers, who accumulated seven hits in
Clemson will return home to face Boston College in a three-game series at Doug
Kingsmore Stadium starting Friday at 6:30 PM.
Big fourth lifts Catamounts over Tigers
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