ASHEVILLE, N.C. - Patrick Koontz's pinch-hit three run homer in the bottom of the 12th inning gave UNC Asheville a dramatic 3-1 victory over Western Carolina Wednesday night at McCormick Field.
The Bulldogs (12-10) won for the fifth time in the last six games, despite being down to their last out and final strike in the 12th inning.
Asheville trailed 1-0 after Cody Jones hit a solo home run in the top of the 12th to break a scoreless tie off Bulldog reliever Justin Hunt (1-0). Western Carolina fell to 15-6 on the season.
In the bottom of the 12th, reliever Jon Nadale quickly got the first two outs of the inning before facing freshman Hunter Bryant. Nadale got ahead 0-2 before Bryant fouled off two pitches. The rookie first baseman then singled to right-field to keep the inning alive.
Cody Buch then hit a slow grounder to first baseman Tyler White who couldn't come up with ball. Buch reached first on an error.
Bulldog coach Tom Smith sent up Koontz to hit for Andrew Kirkland. The senior worked the count to 2-1 before hitting a long home run over the right-field wall to give Asheville its second extra inning win of the year and third straight victory over WCU.
Both teams squandered opportunities throughout the game. Asheville left 15 men on base, while the Catamounts left seven on base and had two runners thrown out trying to steal and one trying to reach third on a hit.
Asheville used 10 pitchers in the game and nine of them kept the powerful Catamounts off the scoreboard until Jones' solo homer in the 12th.
Western Carolina used seven pitchers, including four in the seventh inning.
Eli Miller, Thomas Bess and Bryant had two hits for the Bulldogs. Julian Ridings and Bradley Strong had three hits for the Catamounts.
UNC Asheville begins an eight-game road swing on Friday when the Bulldogs travel to Big South for Radford to start a three-game series at 6:30 p.m.