Samford solidified its hold on first place in the Southern Conference baseball standings by sweeping a three-game series from Western Carolina at Griffin Field.
The Bulldogs (37-15, 17-4) rolled to a 16-4 win in the series opener Friday. Jordan Fucci and Branden Fryman both had three hits, with Fucci driving in five runs.
Samuel Strickland pitched six shutout innings for the win. He gave up three hits and no walks and struck out eight.
Samford scored in the second on Ayrton Schafer’s sacrifice fly.
Fryman and Fucci had RBI singles in the third, and Sonny DiChiara drove in a run with an infield out for a 4-0 lead.
DiChiara’s sacrifice fly in the fifth made it 5-0.
The Bulldogs broke the game open with six runs in the sixth to go up 11-0. Two scored on errors, and another came in on a wild pitch. Fryman and DiChiara both had RBI singles, and Taylor Garris drove in a run with a fielder’s choice.
The Catamounts (18-28, 7-14), who are eighth in the league, scored twice in the seventh, Jalen Jones had an RBI single, and a run came home on a balk.
Fucci belted a grand slam in the bottom of the seventh as the margin reached 16-2. Brooks Carlson drove in a run with an infield out.
Will Prater had an RBI triple and scored on an error for WCU in the ninth.
Jones led the Western offense with two hits.
Taylor Purus (3-4) pitched into the sixth inning and took the loss.
Zach Hester pitched six innings Saturday in Samford’s 5-3 victory. He gave up six hits, walked two and struck out six.
Stephen Jones pitched two scoreless innings for the save.
Carlson, Garris and Anthony Mulrine all had two hits for the Bulldogs.
Justice Bigbee led off the game for the Cats with a home run.
His RBI single in the fourth made it 2-0.
Samford took a 3-2 edge in the fifth. Carlson had a two-run single, and Fryman drove in a run with a fielder’s choice.
Mulrine’s RBI double put the Bulldogs up 4-2 in the sixth.
Both teams scored a run in the eighth. Daylan Nanny had a home run for WCU, and Mulrine had an RBI single for Samford.
Bigbie had three hits for the Cats. Nanny, Matthew Koehler and Andrew Bullock all added two hits.
Starting pitcher Chase Walter (5-6) went seven innings and took the loss.
Fucci hit a three-run homer in the first inning for Samford in Sunday’s 4-2 win.
Jesse McCord pitched five innings for the victory. He allowed six hits and a walk and struck out five.
Jones threw a scoreless ninth for the save.
Preston Moore had two hits for the Bulldogs.
Western narrowed the deficit to 3-2 on Bigbie’s RBI single in the fifth and Bullock’s sacrifice fly in the sixth.
Fucci had a sacrifice fly for Samford in the seventh.
Bigbie went three of five for WCU. Nanny had two hits.
Ty McCulloch (1-4) started on the mound and took the loss.