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  • Daniel Hooker

Catamounts, Wildcats Meet in Kannapolis Tuesday

Western Carolina baseball plays its fourth-straight neutral field game on Tuesday night as the Catamounts travel to Kannapolis, N.C., to face the Davidson Wildcats at the Atrium Health Ballpark, home of the Chicago White Sox Single-A affiliate Kannapolis Cannon Ballers. The first pitch is scheduled for 6:00 p.m.

Tuesday’s game is slated to be broadcast on ESPN+ (paid subscription required) with live stats by Davidson available through a link at

Western Carolina (6-10) went 1-3 last week against a trio of Power Five Conference opponents including three games at Fluor Field in Greenville, S.C. WCU dropped an 8-4, five-inning decision at No. 14 North Carolina in the midweek after a power issue prevented the stadium lights in Chapel Hill from functioning properly. Last weekend, WCU dropped two games to Big Ten foe Michigan State – 6-5 and 7-2 – while upending Kansas out of the Big 12 by a score of 5-3 last Friday as a part of the First Pitch Invitational.

Four players finished with four combined hits over the four games last week as WCU was held to a collective .250 batting average against the P-5 foes. Pascanel Ferreras doubled and homered with two RBI while Jack Spyke went 4-for-13 with a double and plated a pair of runs in the first game against Michigan State. Brandon Butterworth led the team with a .714 slugging percentage, legging out three triples at Fluor Field in the three-game tournament set.

Zach Ketterman homered as a part of a team-high tying three RBI on the week with Landen Morrison finding his stroke in the lineup as the designated hitter, finishing the week 3-for-9 with a double.

On the mound, Matt Schepel struck out seven over five innings in his lone appearance of the week with Dante Visconti earning the squad’s one victory in relief over Kansas with four strikeouts in three innings.

Davidson (6-9) has dropped three straight after being swept at home by Bryant last weekend. The Wildcats are perfect in the midweek, though, winning each of their first three weekday games, two of which came at home.

A former member of the Southern Conference (1936-1988; 1991-2014), Davidson was tabbed as the Atlantic-10 Conference preseason favorite in the 12-team league after winning its first outright regular-season conference title a season ago at 20-4. The Wildcats won a school-record 43 games in 2022.

Among Davidson’s top players is preseason All-America selection in catcher Michael Carico (.333, 3 2B, 3 HR, 7 RBI), who was selected as the A-10 Player of the Year last spring, and the defending A-10 Rookie of the Year in pitcher Ryan Feczko (1-3, 9.98 ERA). Davidson also returns all-conference performers in Bennett Flynn (0-0, 6.23 ERA), shortstop Jacob Hinderleider (.237, 3 2B, 2 HR, 12 RBI), and first baseman Ryan Wilson (.389, 4 2B, 7 HR, 18 RBI).

One name familiar to Catamount fans on the Davidson roster is that of Henry Koehler – the younger brother of former Catamount outfielder Matthew Koehler (2015-2019), who was drafted by the Oakland A’s in the 31st round of the 2019 draft.

The Catamounts are batting .263 collectively as a team with 139 hits including 44 for extra bases – 22 doubles, four triples, and 18 home runs, second in the SoCon. WCU is averaging six runs per game while surrendering an average of 7.4 on a .280 batting average against. WCU is also seeking its first midweek victory, 0-3 on the road to date this season. Davidson is batting .282 collectively as a team with 144 hits including 52 for extra bases – 21 doubles, two triples, and 29 home runs. Opponents are batting .300 against the Wildcats this season and scoring an average of 9.4 runs.

Dating back to 1977 with common ties in the SoCon, Western Carolina leads the all-time series with Davidson 90-26, though the two haven’t met on the baseball diamond since 2014 – a three-game WCU series sweep in Cullowhee as a part of the current four-game winning streak. The Catamounts won 15 straight over Davidson from 2006 through 2011 and 26 of the last 30 meetings since 2005.

The Atrium Health Ballpark is a $52 million state-of-the-art facility that seats 4,930 and was opened in May 2020 as a public park with the 2021 baseball season marking its first.

Following Tuesday’s road trip, the Catamounts return home for a three-game nonconference weekend series against Radford (7-9) this weekend at Childress Field / Hennon Stadium. Coming off a series victory over SoCon-foe VMI, the Highlanders host Rider for a pair of games midweek before venturing to Cullowhee this weekend. Each game is slated to be broadcast on ESPN+ (paid subscription required) with live stats available online at

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