Catamounts Complete Regular-Season Sweep of UNCA, 19-4
Brandon Butterworth tallied a career-high four base knocks, and nine Catamounts collected an RBI led by Pascanel Ferreras and Zach Ketterman with four runs driven in apiece as Western Carolina put the finishing touches on a two-game, regular-season sweep of mountain-rival UNC Asheville with a 19-7 victory Wednesday night at Childress Field / Hennon Stadium.
After a scoreless first inning, WCU scored runs in seven-straight innings including posting six crooked-number frames on the scoreboard in powering to the midweek nonconference victory. Coupled with the 13-4 road win over UNCA in Asheville on April 11, the Catamounts completed the regular-season sweep for the first time since 2014, snapping a five-game home winless drought in the series.
Cole Jones got the Catamounts started with a two-run home run to right field in the second inning for his lone hit of the game with Ferreras doubling home a run and belting a two-run blast in the sixth inning as part of his 2-for-3, four RBI effort. Ferreras reached base five times, adding a pair of walks and an HBP. Ketterman plated two of his four RBI on an eighth-inning double, plating another on a sacrifice fly and a bases-loaded walk.
Butterworth posted a trio of singles and a double in a career-high 4-for-6 effort with three runs scored and one driven home on a seventh-inning single. Kyle Riesselmann was a fourth Catamount with a multi-hit game, legging out a double in a 2-for-4, two-RBI performance.
After Jones homered in the bottom of the second, UNC Asheville (21-20) mounted its biggest threat of the game by responding with a three-spot in the top of the third to take a short-lived 3-2 lead. In the bottom of the frame, WCU lit the scoreboard twice with a bases-loaded wild pitch and an infield groundout by James Hinson plating two and the Catamounts would not trail again.
WCU used a three-run fourth, a solo marker in the fifth on a run-scoring groundout by Jordan Starkes, and two in the sixth on the Ferreras homer before pushing across six in the decisive seventh inning. Riesselmann plated two on a double to right-center with Ketterman and Kenny Leiner pushing home runs on bases-loaded walks. The Catamounts scored three in the eighth including a two-run double by Ketterman to lead 19-4 before the Bulldogs scratched out three runs in the top of the ninth inning to provide the final tally.
Freshman Ryan White (3-0) was credited with the victory, tossing a team-long 2.2 innings of scoreless while countering a pair of walks with two strikeouts. Classmate Brandon Eldridge likewise struck out two against a pair of walks in two scoreless, one-hit innings in the starting role. Dylan Wheeler fanned two of the three batters he faced with Cole Beverlin punching out a pair in two-thirds of an inning as WCU used 10 different pitchers.
UNCA reliever Clay Edmondson (5-2) – a normal weekend starter – was saddled with the loss after allowing two runs on a hit with a pair of walks in an inning out of the bullpen. The Bulldogs used 11 arms with no one throwing more than an inning. UNCA’s six strikeouts were spread between six different pitchers.
Dylan Bacot tallied three of Asheville’s nine team base hits in a 3-for-3 effort with two doubles and two walks, scoring two of the seven Bulldog runs while plating a pair. Kohl Abrams and Fermin Osio both doubled for UNCA in the road loss.
The Catamounts close out a road-heavy portion of their schedule by traveling to Birmingham, Ala., to face the Samford Bulldogs in a three-game Southern Conference series this weekend. Action gets underway Friday, May 5, at 5 pm ET / 4 pm CT and continues Saturday, May 6, at 3 pm ET / 2 pm CT and Sunday, May 7, at 2 pm ET / 1 pm CT.
Each game is slated to be broadcast on ESPN+ (paid subscription required) with live stats by StatBroadcast available through links at CatamountSports.com.