Western Carolina’s Luke Robinson

Western Carolina’s Luke Robinson hit a home run against Citadel last week in the Southern Conference Baseball Tournament. The Catamounts defeated the Bulldogs 7-3, but lost to Samford and Furman to end their season.

Furman let a 6-0 lead get away but recovered in the final two innings to defeat Western Carolina 9-7 last Thursday in the Southern Conference Baseball Tournament at Fluor Field in Greenville, South Carolina.

It was the second loss for the Catamounts in the double-elimination tournament, and they ended their season 21-32.

David Webel, John Bos­well, Jabari Richards and Banks Griffith all had two hits for the Paladins.

Rob Hughes was the winning pitcher in relief.

Richards’ two-run homer gave Furman an 8-7 edge in the top of the eighth.

Logan Taplett added a solo shot in the ninth.

The Paladins went up 2-0 in the third on Webel’s two-run homer.

Boswell’s homer to start the fourth made it 3-0.

Trent Alley’s two-run double in the fifth extended the margin to 5-0.

The lead reached 6-0 on Griffith’s RBI double in the sixth.

Luke Robinson had an RBI triple in the bottom of the sixth, and two runs scored on errors as Western trimmed the deficit in half at 6-3.

Two-run singles by Justin Sparks and Will Prater gave WCU a 7-6 edge in the seventh.

Andrew Bullock had three hits for the Cats. Robinson and Daylan Nanny both added two.

Taylor Purss (5-5) took the loss in relief.

Samford rallies

Top-seeded Samford rallied from a 4-0 deficit after seven innings to defeat the Cats 5-4 in 10 innings on May 22.

Sonny DiChiara homered to lead off the bottom of the 10th giving the Bulldogs the victory.

DiChiara and Branden Fryman both had two hits for Samford.

Stephen Jones pitched a scoreless 10th for the win.

The Bulldogs trailed 4-0 with two out and no runners on base in the eighth. They cut the deficit in half on Fryman’s RBI double and Brooks Carlson’s run-scoring single.

Samford tied it in the ninth on a wild pitch and Max Pinto’s fielder’s choice grounder.

WCU broke a scoreless tie with four runs in the sixth when Sparks singled in a pair. Bullock had an RBI double, and Nanny delivered an RBI single for a 4-0 advantage.

Nanny and Sparks both had two hits for Western.

Jack Snyder (2-4) took the loss.

Cats win opener

WCU reached the double-elimination phase of the tourney with a 7-3 victory over ninth-seeded Citadel on May 21.

Prater was three of four at the plate. Sparks, Robinson, Jalen Jones and Immanuel Wilder all had two hits.

Purus pitched six and two-thirds innings of scoreless relief for the win. He struck out seven while walking five and allowed three hits.

The Cats scored four in the bottom of the fifth to take a 6-3 lead. Prater capped the rally with a two-run single. Sparks and Justice Bigbie had RBI singles.

WCU’s Luke Robinson homered to start the seventh.

The Bulldogs scored first on Tyler Corbitt’s solo homer in the opening inning.

Western tied it on Jones’ RBI double in the second.

Citadel went up 3-1 in the third on Lane Botkin’s RBI single and a bases-loaded walk to Tilo Skole.

Immanuel Wilder’s leadoff homer in the bottom of the third narrowed the deficit to 3-2.

Corbitt and Skole both had two hits for the Bulldogs.

Jordan Merritt started and took the loss.

Post-season honors

Prater, a sophomore second baseman from Dallas, Georgia, was named to the all-tournament after having four hits in 12 at-bats during the three games.

Bigbie, a sophomore infielder from Chesapeake, Virginia, was selected as the Southern Conference Player of the Year by both the league head coaches and the SoCon Sports Media Association.

He was joined on the first team by senior outfielder Matthew Koehler. Infielder Colin Bertsch was chosen for the all-freshman team.

Bigbie led the conference with a .371 batting average. He tied for fifth with 12 homers and was third in RBIs with 50.

Koehler, who is from Raleigh, was third in the conference with a .365 batting average. He was fourth in homers with 13 and drove in 48 runs.

Bertsch, who is from Plantation, Florida, batted .289.