Greenville, S.C. – Pascanel Ferreras homered twice in a three-hit, six-RBI effort, and Jack Snyder struck out five over six innings in the start as fourth-seeded Western Carolina powered past top-seed Wofford 16-5 on Thursday afternoon in the opening game of the 2021 Southern Conference Baseball Championship presented by Holston Gases at Fluor Field.
Ferreras plated four of WCU’s first seven runs over the opening three innings, belting a first-inning, solo home run to left-center field before clearing the bases with a three-run double to key a four-run second inning. The Stone Mountain, Ga., product added a two-run homer in the ninth inning to cap his 3-for-5 effort. Pressed into the starting role behind the plate after a pregame injury to Luke Robinson, catcher Tom Brosnahan blasted a two-run homer – his second of the season – in the third inning as WCU raced out to a 7-0 lead.
Five Terrier runs between the fifth and seventh innings pulled the regular-season champion Terriers back to within four, 9-5, through seven innings. However, WCU matched its seven-run start with seven runs over the final two frames, including the Ferreras two-run homer to pull away for the victory.
In addition to Ferreras with a three-hit effort, Robinson delivered a two-RBI single and legged out an opposite-field double down the left-field line in a 3-for-6 effort. Justice Bigbie collected four singles in a 4-for-5 showing, scoring twice for the Catamounts in the winning effort. Daniel Walsh (1-for-4) plated two runs with a double off the left-field wall, and Seth Graves added a two-base hit for WCU.
Snyder (2-0), a converted reliever, made just his third start of the season in batting through six solid innings. The Chicago, Ill., native limited the Terriers to four runs while scattering nine hits with the six strikeouts countering one hit batter without issuing a walk. Nick Hyde tossed an inning of one-run, two-hit relief with Zach Franklin striking out two against a pair of walks in two innings of one-hit, scoreless relief out of the bullpen.
Wofford starter Josh Vitus (3-5) took the loss after allowing seven earned runs on six hits with a walk and a strikeout in just three innings. Sam Stratton struck out three in 2.1 relief innings while Zach Byron pitched two innings with three runs allowed, only one of which was earned.
The Terriers (35-20) finished with a dozen hits, including six for extra bases with four doubles and two run-scoring triples. Shane Lussier finished a homer shy of the cycle with a 3-for-3 effort with a walk, while Trey Yunger tripled in a 2-for-5 showing to lead Wofford.
Winners of five-straight games, Western Carolina (27-19) advances in the winner’s bracket where it faces the winner of the No. 2 Samford / No. 3 Mercer game at approximately 7:00 p.m. on Friday.