ASHEVILLE, N.C. – UNC Asheville scored three runs in the bottom of the eighth inning to rally past Davidson 12-10 in college baseball action Tuesday night at Greenwood Field.
The comeback win for the Bulldogs (12-22) made a winner out of reliever Elliot Criss (1-0) who was making his first appearance in more than a year after an arm injury. Criss retired the Wildcats (20-9) without a hit in the eighth inning.
Freshman outfielder Tanner Bush led Asheville’s 12-hit attack with three hits, a home run and a double. Kyle Towles, Phillip Treadway and Tommy Houmard and Robert McIntosh all had two hits for the Bulldogs.
Davidson was led at the plate by Ben Arkin with three hits and two RBI’s. Ryan Lowe had two hits and drove in four runs, three with a home run in the fourth inning.
The Bulldogs trailed 10-9 going into the bottom of the eighth inning. Derek Smith led off with a walk before Bush and Treadway singled to load the bases with nobody out.
Houmard’s’ fielders choice tied the game at 10-10. McIntosh’s RBI-single plated Bush to give the Dogs the lead at 11-10. Hunter Bryant’s sacrifice fly scored the final run of the inning for the Blue & White.
Scott Robinson earned his fifth save of the year by getting the Wildcats in order in the top of the ninth.
Trailing 9-8 entering the seventh inning, the Wildcats scored twice to take the lead at 10-9. Ben Arkin’s two-run singled put the visitors in front.
Asheville opened the scoring in the bottom of the first inning as Bush hit his first career home run over the right-field wall for 1-0 Bulldog lead.
One out later, doubled into right-center. McIntosh followed with a run-scoring double to left-center, scoring Houmard for a 2-0 Asheville advantage.
Davidson picked up its first run in the top of the second. Arkin had a one-out single. Lee Miller’s single to right put Arkin on third. Chris Dyer drove in his first run of the year with a sacrifice fly to slice the Bulldog lead to 2-1.
Asheville came back with three runs in the bottom of the frame. Erik Connolly opened the inning with a single to right. A bunt single from Kyle Towles put runners on first and second.
One out later, Bush’s two-run double put the Bulldogs in front 4-1. Treadway followed with a double to pad the lead to 5-1.
The Wildcats started to rally with a run in the third on a sacrifice fly from Ryan Lowe to trim the lead to 5-2.
Davidson exploded for six runs in the fourth to grab the lead 8-5. David Daniels’ two-out, two-run single knotted the game at 5-5. Lowe followed with a long three-run homer over the right-field wall for an 8-5 Wildcats lead.
Asheville got one back in the bottom of the fourth when Towles scored on an error at short.
The Bulldogs regained the lead in the fifth on two wild pitches from Davidson reliever Jip Richards. With the bases loaded and Derek Smith up, his first wild pitch scored Hunter Bryant to cut the margin to 8-7.
His next wild pitch scored two runs. He walked Smith and the ball got away from Dyer. Connolly scored from third to tie the game at 8-8. Dyer’s throw to the plate was wide for an error, scoring Towles as Ashevlle led 9-8.
UNC Asheville returns to action tomorrow night when the Bulldogs host mountain rival Western Carolina at Greenwood Field at 6 p.m. The school will dedicate its new lights prior to the game with a lot of activity going on before and during the contest. Tickets are available at uncabulldogs.com/tickets or by calling 828-258-7900.