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Western Carolina advances at SoCon Championship
Courtesy: Southern Conference
Release: 05/22/2018
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Western Carolina's Cameron Blaquiere
Courtesy: Carlos Morales

GREENVILLE, S.C. – Cameron Blaquiere and Spencer Holcomb drove in three runs apiece as the No. 9 seed Western Carolina edged out eighth-seeded The Citadel 6-5 in Tuesday’s opening contest of the Southern Conference Baseball Championship presented by Holston Gases at Fluor Field.

Western Carolina (8-45) advances to the double-elimination portion of the bracket and will face No. 1 seed UNCG on Wednesday at 12:30 p.m. The Citadel sees its season end at 19-34.

Blaquiere hit two home runs and drove in the game-winning run in the top of the ninth as Tristan Baker threw 3 2/3 innings to pick up the win and Zach Franklin picked up the save.

Blaquiere got things going in the top of the second inning, smacking a solo shot to right center field to make the score 1-0. After giving up a single and hitting a pair of batters, Citadel right-hander Dylan Spence got some help from his defense as Ben Peden snagged a hard-hit ball and cut down the runner at the plate before William Kinney recorded a 6-3 putout to limit the damage to just one run.

The Citadel threatened in the bottom half of the inning, working the bases loaded but Chase Walter induced a pop up to shallow right field to get out of the jam. In the bottom of the third, Taylor Cothran lifted a ball to center, allowing Jeffrey Brown to score from third base. Brown would return the favor in the fourth, putting the Bulldogs ahead 2-1 with a sacrifice fly to center field.

In the top of fifth inning, All-SoCon second team member Spencer Holcomb launched a three-run shot over the Green Monster in left to give Western Carolina a 4-2 lead.

The Citadel recorded single runs in the bottom of the fifth and the bottom of the sixth to pull even at 4-4. In the top of the seventh, Blaquiere went yard again to give the Catamounts a 5-4 lead. After Cothran and The Citadel tied the game at 5-5 in the eighth, Blaquiere smashed a ball off the center field wall that drove in the game-winning run for Western Carolina.

Walter (2-7) got the start, throwing 4 1/3 innings while striking out six batters and allowing three runs. Baker improves to 3-6 on the season and Franklin notched his third save of 2018.

After Spence and Alex Bialakis combined for the first seven innings, Jordan Buster came on in relief, picking up the loss and ending his 2018 season with a 4-4 record.

The SoCon Baseball Championship presented by Holston Gases resumes Wednesday at 9 a.m. with No. 4 seed VMI taking on No. 5 seed Mercer.

May 22 (Tuesday)
SoCon Championship presented by Holston Gases (SDN)
(Fluor Field; Greenville, S.C.)
Game 1: #9 Western Carolina 6, #8 The Citadel 5             

May 23 (Wednesday)
SoCon Championship presented by Holston Gases (SDN)
 (Fluor Field; Greenville, S.C.)
Game 2: #4 VMI vs. #5 Mercer                                       9 a.m.
Game 3: #1 UNCG vs. #9 Western Carolina                     12:30 p.m.
Game 4: #2 Samford vs. #7 Furman                               4 p.m.
Game 5: #3 Wofford vs. #6 ETSU                                  7:30 p.m. 

May 24 (Thursday)
SoCon Championship presented by Holston Gases (SDN)
 (Fluor Field; Greenville, S.C.)
Game 6: Loser Game 2 vs. Loser Game 3                       9 a.m.
Game 7: Loser Game 4 vs. Loser Game 5                       12:30 p.m.
Game 8: Winner Game 2 vs. Winner Game 3                   4 p.m.
Game 9: Winner Game 4 vs. Winner Game 5                   7:30 p.m. 

May 25 (Friday)
SoCon Championship presented by Holston Gases (SDN)
 (Fluor Field; Greenville, S.C.)
Game 10: Winner Game 7 vs. Loser Game 8                   3:30 p.m.
Game 11: Winner Game 6 vs. Loser Game 9                   7 p.m. 

May 26 (Saturday)
SoCon Championship presented by Holston Gases (SDN)
(Fluor Field; Greenville, S.C.)
Game 12: Winner Game 8 vs. Winner Game 9                 12 p.m.
Game 13: Winner Game 10 vs. Winner Game 11              3:30 p.m.
Game 14: Winner Game 13 vs. Loser Game 12                7 p.m. 

May 27 (Sunday)
SoCon Championship presented by Holston Gases (SDN)
 (Fluor Field; Greenville, S.C.)
Game 15: Winner Game 12 vs. Winner Game 14              12 p.m.
^Game 16: Winner Game 15 vs. Loser Game 15              40 minutes after Game 15

^ if necessary

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