Fieldhouse Report, 03.12.2019

WCU Baseball
Western Carolina is out to an 8-5 start in 2019 (photo – WCU Athletics/Ashley Evans)

ASHEVILLE, N.C. (March 12, 2019) – College Baseball –  In an annual battle with the elements, college baseball teams in the Western Carolina/Upstate areas are beginning to gain the upper hand and get in more games with fewer cancellations. 

At the NCAA DI level, the area’s three teams are off to varied starts: Western Carolina (Southern 8-5, 0-0), UNC Asheville (Big South 5-9, 0-0), and Furman (Southern 4-9, 0-0). Western is the turnaround story of the group to date as the Catamounts won just seven regular-season games last year before rattling off four wins in the Southern Conference tournament. They defeated two Big-10 teams this past week (Michigan State, Ohio State) and were set to host Notre Dame (ACC 6-8, 1-2) at Hennon Stadium tomorrow. 

There are also three non-DI baseball teams in the region, as Lees-McRae and Warren Wilson don’t field squads. They are: Montreat (AAC (NAIA) 11-10, 1-4), Brevard (USA South 4-12, 0-8), and Mars Hill ( SAC 8-12, 2-6).

In the only 2019 game scheduled between the three teams, the Tornados topped the Cavs 4-3 in a weekday game on February 14. 

00001 Savannah Carnahan
Furman’s Savannah Carnahan (photo – Phil Ponder/Furman Athletics)

Running  In late February, Furman’s Savannah Carnahan captured the Southern Conference championship at the 5,000 and 3,000-meter distances in Lexington, Virginia. It was her third-straight year claiming the title in the indoor 5k, and she captured this year’s 3k in record-breaking time. In the classroom, Carnahan boasts a 3.93 GPA while double-majoring in applied mathematics and chemistry and also earned SoCon student-athlete of the week accolades this season for the Paladins.

In late February, Montreat’s Lydia Wilson earned All-American honors for the fourth time at the NAIA Nationals in Brookings, South Dakota. I recently wrote about the distance runner and the program’s efforts for the Black Mountain News. 

NCAA LACROSSE: MAY 28 NCAA Lacrosse Championships - Duke v Yale
Duke, shown facing off against Yale in last year’s championship, has won three titles in the last decade (photo – iconsportswire.com)

College Lacrosse – Last week I had an article in Forbes online on how the UNC and Duke programs still comprise the power hub of men’s NCAA DI lacrosse in the South, despite expansion in the sport in the region and nationwide. The two universities are best known for their basketball rivalry and first faced-off on the lacrosse field in 1938. They’ll renew their rivalry this year on March 30 in Chapel Hill. 

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