Ninth Inning Rally Pushes Bears To 10-6 Win Over #34 Western Carolina
March 31, 2005
Cullowhee, NC- - Down 6-4 heading into the ninth inning, the Brown baseball team rallied for six runs to earn a 10-6 victory over 34th ranked Western Carolina on Wednesday night. The win is the Bears fourth in their last six outings as they improve to 5-9 overall. Western Carolina, which upset top-ranked Georgia Tech Tuesday night, drops to 15-9 on the season. Junior Paul Christian's two-run homer in the ninth tied the game at 6-6 while junior Eric Larson's single to left field scored the game-winning run for the Bears.
Brown lit up the Catamounts Jon Kibler for three runs on three hits in the top of the first. Sophomore Devin Thomas doubled to left center, scoring senior Matt Kutler, who reached on a fielder's choice. An error by Western Carolina's second baseman allowed Thomas to score all the way from second and Larson, who was originally awarded first due to catcher's interference, from third base.
Sophomore Bryan Tews got the start on the mound, his fourth of the year. After allowing two runs in the bottom of the first, he settled into three straight scoreless innings. Western Carolina turned things around in the fourth, plating four runs on six hits to take a 6-3 lead. Freshman Alex Silverman came in to relieve Tews with just one out in the inning and allowed just one run on a sacrifice fly. With the bases loaded and two outs, Silverman escaped the jam by striking out WCU's Blake Murphy.
Kutler cut the lead to two, 6-4, with a solo homerun in the seventh while Silverman, junior Ethan Burton and freshman Rob Hallberg provided excellent scoreless relief pitching in the sixth, seventh and eighth innings.
With one last stab at a win, the Bears exploded for six runs in the top of the ninth to earn the come from behind victory. Freshman Conor Reardon got the rally started with a pinch-hit single in his first collegiate at-bat. Christian then tied the game with his homerun to right field.
Senior Bobby Wiginton got another rally going with a single up the middle. Kutler then earned a walk to put runners on first and second and still no outs. Larson delivered what proved to be the game-winning run on the next play, singling home Wiginton but the Bears didn't stop there. A wild pitch eventually allowed Kutler to score while sophomore Adjatay Nyadjroh gave the Bears a three-run cushion with a single through the left side. After stealing second, Nyadjroh scored Brown's tenth and final run thanks to a double to left center by senior Jeff Nichols.
Senior Chris Davidson, who entered the game with two outs in the eighth, ensured the victory by retiring the side in the bottom of the ninth, striking out two for his first win of the season.