CULLOWHEE, N.C. – Despite a five-run first inning the UNC Asheville baseball team fell to mountain rival Western Carolina on Tuesday evening, falling by the final of 13-9 at Hennon Stadium as the Bulldogs saw their losing skid reach nine games in a row.
The Bulldogs (8-21) plated five runners in the top of the first, highlighted by rightfielder Todd Joyner’s three-run homer to right-centerfield. However, WCU (17-13) would score six runs in the second and third innings to take the lead.
After the two teams traded the lead back and forth, the Catamounts scored six runs over the sixth and seventh innings to take a 13-8 lead. Asheville got a run across in the top of the eighth, but could not complete the comeback.
Joyner went 2-for-5 at the plate, with three RBI and a run scored. Catcher Ian Graham went 3-for-3, with two runs scored and one RBI, while drawing two walks.
Pitcher Justin Hunt was credited with the loss in relief, allowing three runs on three hits in 1.1 innings of work. Hunt is now 0-2 on the season.
Western was led offensively by designated hitter Jacob Hoyle, who went 4-for-5 with three RBI and three runs scored. Shortstop Aaron Attaway went 2-for-6 with three RBI and a run scored.
Reliever Alex Barr (2-0) picked up the victory for WCU, allowing one run on two hits in 2.1 innings, striking out five Bulldogs in the appearance.
The two teams will square off again tomorrow evening at McCormick Field in Asheville, N.C. The Bulldogs will be hosting a fundraiser for Vs. Cancer, a non-profit organization that funds lifesaving childhood cancer efforts, and Mission Children’s Hospital. First pitch is set for 6 p.m.