ASHEVILLE, N.C. - Jacob Hoyle hit two home runs for Western Carolina as the Catamounts spoiled UNC Asheville's first official night game at Greenwood Field with a 9-3 win over the Bulldogs Wednesday night.
Hoyle drove in three runs as WCU pitching limited Asheville to just eight hits and stranded 12 Bulldog baserunners in the game. The Catamounts used eight pitchers in their 11th straight win. Starter Colton Davis (3-1) went the first three innings and had seven strikeouts, allowing just one hit. Reliever Tyler Powell pitched the final two innings and got of a bases-loaded jam in the eighth inning to earn his sixth save of the season.
Tanner Bush led Asheville (11-23) at the plate with three hits, while Hunter Bryant added two hits for the Blue & White
However, a standing room only crowd of 754 fans enjoyed the new lights at Greenwood Field. The crowd saw the lights come on at 6:05 p.m. and the first pitch thrown at 6:11 p.m.
Prior to the game, members of the Tourism Product Development Fund Committee threw out the first pitch. A check presentation for $500,000 was given to UNC Asheville Director of Athletics Janet R. Cone for the lights at both the soccer and baseball fields from the Buncombe County Tourism Development Authority.
The game was scoreless until the fourth inning when Hoyle hit his first home run over the right-field for a 1-0 WCU lead. The Cats scored two unearned runs to lead 3-0.
Asheville fought back with a run in the bottom of the fourth. Robert McIntosh led off with a single and went to second on a wild pitch. Kyle Towles drove him in with a run-scoring single to cut the margin to 3-1.
The visitors put the game away in the late innings with two runs in the final three frames.
Asheville tried to mount a comeback in the bottom of the eighth inning. Trailing 7-1, a single from Hunter Bryant and walks to Kyle Towles and Pete Guy loaded the bases with nobody out. The Dogs got a bases-loaded walk to Derek Smith to cut the lead to 7-2 and an RBI-single from Bush to carve the margin to 7-3. But Powell was able to wiggle out of the jam with two strikeouts and a pop-out to end the threat.
The Bulldogs had runners on base in every inning with the exception of the ninth but simply could not get a big hit.
UNC Asheville hits the road on Friday when the Bulldogs travel to Campbell for a three-game Big South Conference series starting at 6 p.m.