CHARLESTON, S.C. – Charleston Southern’s starting pitcher Ryan Gunther tossed eight strong innings, lifting the Buccaneers to a 6-2 victory over UNC Asheville in Big South Conference play on Friday afternoon, as the Bulldogs fall to 1-6 in league play.


Senior catcher Ian Graham hit his second home run of the season, and leftfielder Tommy Houmard extended his hitting streak to eight games, but CSU’s pitching was too much for the Blue & White, who fall to 8-18 on the season overall.


The Bucs collected six runs on 10 hits against the Bulldogs, with centerfielder Bobby Ison leading the way with three hits. Right fielder Zack Hagaman posted two runs batted in for CSU, while second baseman Kevin Hickey and designated hitter Chase Shelton earned two hits apiece.


Gunther (3-3) allowed two runs on four hits over eight innings, with six strikeouts and one walk. Andrew Tomasovich pitched a shutout ninth for the Bucs to shut the door on Asheville.


Bulldog hurler Dean Roland was credited with the loss to fall to 0-6 on the year. Roland gave up six runs (three earned) on 10 hits in 6.1 innings, striking out six Bucs on the day.


CSU plated two runs in the first inning on a homer by Hagaman to right, giving the Bucs the early advantage. Charleston added three more runs in the second on four hits in the frame.


Asheville got on the board with Graham’s solo homer to lead off the fourth, but could not scratch any more runs across in the frame.


The Bucs added an insurance run in the bottom of the seventh, scoring on a wild pitch to go up 6-1. In the top of the ninth Houmard doubled in a run for the Bulldogs, but Asheville could not plate any other runners in the inning to fall by the final 6-2.


The two teams will play a doubleheader tomorrow to close out the series, with first pitch in game one set to begin at 11:30 a.m.