Catamounts fall to Kennesaw State
Courtesy: Southern Conference
Release: 05/08/2017
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Western Carolina's Nobu Suzuki
Courtesy: Western Carolina Athletics

Western Carolina falls to Kennesaw State

KENNESAW, Ga. – Playing its fourth game in three days, Western Carolina never got in rhythm offensively, dropping a 7-1 decision at Kennesaw State on Monday afternoon at Stillwell Stadium. Three Catamounts combined for WCU's six hits on the day while the team left 12 runners on base.

The Owls, playing their first game since April 30, rode a five-run third inning that was keyed by a three-run homer to left field by LaDonis Bryant to sweep the two-game midweek series from the Catamounts, claiming their third straight series win over WCU dating back to 2015.

Senior Nobu Suzuki reached base four of the five times he stepped into the batter's box on Monday, pacing the Catamounts with a game-high three singles in a 3-for-4 performance, and adding his team-leading 12th HBP. His seventh-inning single through the right side drove in WCU's lone run of the game.

Junior Brett Pope collected his team-leading 25th multiple-hit game, tallying a double and a single in a 2-for-5 outing and scoring WCU's lone run. The Statesville, N.C., native has reached base safely in 12 consecutive games including eight multi-hit games.

With a third-inning single up the middle, senior Matt Smith extended his reached base safely streak to 29 consecutive games. The Fredericktown, Ohio, native reached twice as he was also plunked by a pitch in the seventh. Redshirt senior Bryson Bowman walked twice in the loss for WCU.

Junior LHP Corey Sikes (0-2) took the loss, allowing six runs on nine hits with a strikeout while matching a career long with 4 2/3 innings in the start. Senior Chad Mabini tossed the final 3 1/3, allowing a run on just three hits with a strikeout out of the bullpen.

Kennesaw State (20-25) had four players record two-hit games with Taylor Allum finishing 2-for-3 with a solo home run, his 13th of the season. Allum finished with two RBIs, plating a run on a third-inning single. Terence Norman and Corey Greeson both finished 2-for-4 while Grant Williams posted a 2-for-5 performance. Bryant led the team with three RBIs on his third-inning home run.

Owls starter Chris Erwin (2-4) collected his second win over the year over WCU, tossing five innings of three-hit, scoreless baseball. He countered four walks with three strikeouts and was the first of four pitchers used by KSU on the day.

Western Carolina (24-23) continues its current five-game road swing on Wednesday evening as it travels to Marge Schott Stadium to face the Cincinnati Bearcats (24-23), who face Xavier on Tuesday evening. The trip also takes WCU to Muncie, Ind., to face Ball State on Friday through Sunday in nonconference action.


Samford's Tuesday contest against Alabama canceled

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. – Samford's home midweek matchup against the Alabama Crimson Tide, which was slated for Tuesday at 6 p.m. (CT), has been canceled, it was announced by both athletic departments Monday. Alabama initiated the cancelation. In return, the teams agreed to a five-year, home-and-home series through the 2022 season.

Earlier this year, Samford (27-21) posted a 10-3 road victory at Alabama (18-29) on March 15. In last year's matchup held at Joe Lee Griffin Field, the Bulldogs registered a dramatic 3-2 walk-off victory.

The Crimson Tide is coming off a three-game sweep of arch-rival and No. 4-ranked Auburn over the weekend, including a marathon 11-9 win in 15 innings late Sunday night. Alabama is scheduled to host Grambling on Wednesday before welcoming No. 7 Florida to Tuscaloosa for a three-game set this weekend.

Samford will next be in action Friday at 5 p.m. (CT) as the Bulldogs travel to Johnson City, Tennessee, for the first game of a Southern Conference series against the ETSU Buccaneers. Game two is slated to be held Saturday at 1 p.m., followed by Sunday's finale at noon.

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