Seventh inning dooms Bucs, Western Carolina wins 7-1
Tony Lombardi had his best outing as a Buccaneer in Tuesday's loss to Western Carolina.
Tony Lombardi had his best outing as a Buccaneer in Tuesday's loss to Western Carolina.

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Cullowhee, N.C. (April 18, 2006) - Western Carolina scored five seventh inning runs, breaking open a one-run game, and went on to a 7-1 non-conference victory Tuesday evening at Hennon Stadium.

 

Leading 2-1 entering the seventh, the Catamounts (21-16) extended to a 3-1 advantage on Barrett Shaft's one-out double to left field.  Western Carolina later loaded the bases, and Trey McDaniel pushed across another run with an infield single, and a two RBI single through the right side gave the Catamounts a 6-1 advantage.  A throwing error plated the final Western Carolina run.

 

The Bucs (21-18) fell behind 2-0 in the first inning as starter Tony Lombardi (Windsor, Calif.) allowed the first four Catamount batters to reach base.  After hitting the leadoff hitter, Lombardi allowed a single and a double to plate the first Western Carolina run.  A walk loaded the bases with no one out, but Lombardi induced a line out, a sacrifice fly and a fly out to escape the jam.

 

The Bucs cut the lead in half in the third inning, with junior Michael Courtney (Knoxville, Tenn.) scoring on third baseman Jonathan Greene's error off of freshman Ben Allen's (Kingsport, Tenn.) bat.  Courtney reached on a one-out double to right center.

 

Lombardi pitched brilliantly after his first inning struggles, retiring nine straight at one point, and finishing his night sitting down nine of the last 10 batters he faced.  He again took the hard-luck loss, falling to 1-7 on the season despite only giving up two runs in six innings and tying his career high with four strikeouts.  Bryan Tupper (2-1) picked up the win in his first start of the season, and Brian McCullen pitched the final three innings for his first save of the season.

 

The Bucs continue their four-game road trip Friday evening when they open a three-game conference series against league leader Jacksonville.  First pitch is scheduled for 7 p.m.

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