By Carey Phillips
Western Carolina’s baseball team split a pair of non-conference games Friday at USC-Upstate.
The Catamounts (8-6) topped USC-U in the nightcap after falling to Northwestern in the first game.
WCU scored three runs in the top of the first against USC-U and went on to a 5-2 win. Daniel Walsh, Will Prater and Carson Ford all had two hits.
Chase Walter (1-2) pitched the first five innings for the win. He gave up just one hit but walked five while striking out seven. The only run he allowed was unearned.
Zach Franklin picked up his third save with two scoreless innings of relief.
Andrew Bullock had a two-run single for Western in the first, and Prater had an RBI single.
The Cats made it 4-0 in the fourth on Walsh’s RBI single.
Mason Stewart drove in a run with a fielder’s choice in the bottom of the fourth leaving the Spartans down 4-1.
WCU extended the lead to 5-1 in the sixth on Colin Bertsch’s RBI double.
An error allowed USC-U to score in the bottom of the sixth making it 5-2.
Julian Rip had two hits for the Spartans.
Starting pitcher Jordan Marks took the loss.
In the first game, three Northwestern pitchers combined on a six-hitter in a 4-0 victory over WCU.
Mike Doherty pitched the first six innings. He gave up four hits, waked no one, hit a batter and struck out five.
Northwestern’s David Dunn and Evan Minarovic had two hits.
WCU starter Zebby Matthews (3-1) took his first loss of the season. The former Smoky Mountain standout allowed eight hits while striking out seven in six and a third innings. He walked no one, and two of the runs he allowed were earned.
The Wildcats broke a scoreless tie in the bottom of the sixth when a two-out error allowed a run to come in.
They added three runs in the seventh. Charlie Maxwell singled in a pair, and another run scored on an error.