Baseball Drops Opener of Doubleheader, 9-1
Courtesy: SportsPhotoGuy.com for VMI
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CULLOWHEE, N.C. - A five-run seventh inning broke open a three-run game and helped the Western Carolina Catamounts defeat the VMI Keydets, 9-1, in the opener of a three-game SoCon series Friday in Cullowhee, N.C. The game was the opener of a doubleheader.

Western Carolina (17-19, 8-5 SoCon) took a 4-1 lead to the seventh and added a run off Josh Winder three batters into the frame on a RBI single by Matt Smith. With two on, Corey Johnston relieved and after a 12-pitch at-bat ended up with a walk to Caleb Robinson, Spencer Holcomb hit a grand slam to cap the scoring.

On the mound, Bryan Sammons (5-2) was the winner as he allowed three hits over eight innings. Sammons struck out 12 and walked just two. Winder (5-4) was charged with the loss after giving up seven runs - five earned - in six frames of work.

After a first inning run and two unearned markers in the second, Western Carolina took a 3-0 lead into the third. The Keydets got a run back, however, on a RBI double by Collin Fleischer that cut the margin to 3-1. A solo home run by Cameron Blaquiere added a Catamount run in the sixth and set the stage for the seventh inning.

Offensively, Ryan Hatten had the lone two-hit game for VMI (17-21, 4-9) and Smith went 3 for 4 with two RBI to pace WCU.

Western Carolina 9, VMI 1 (April 21, 2017 at Cullowhee, N.C.) - Game 1
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VMI 001 000 000 - 1 6 1 (17-21, 4-9)
WCU 120 001 50X - 9 14 1 (17-19, 8-5)
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VMI - Winder; Johnston (7); Geary (7); Roden (7); Staats (8); Byrd (8); Maddox and Smoot.
WCU - Sammons; Breakfield (9); Holcomb and Robinson.
W - Sammons (5-2) L - Winder (5-4)
HR WCU - Holcomb (6); Blaquiere (6)
T - 3:04