CHARLESTON, S.C. – The UNC Asheville baseball team was swept in a doubleheader against Big South Conference foe Charleston Southern on Saturday afternoon, falling 11-7 in game one before dropping game two 8-1, as the Buccaneers sweep the series with the Bulldogs after earning a 6-2 win over the Blue & White on Friday.
“I’m disappointed, mainly because how hard we’ve been working, we were expecting better,” said Asheville head coach Tom Smith. “We didn’t play well in a lot of phases of the game, didn’t hit well, didn’t pitch well. There are a lot of things that we’ve got to take care of and clean up. I’m confident in the guys that we can clean those things up and turn things around.”
With the setbacks the Bulldogs fall to 8-20 on the season, and 1-8 in the Big South, having now dropped seven consecutive contests. CSU improves to 11-16 overall and 3-3 in league play.
Shorstop Eli Miller collected four hits on the day, while leftfielder Tommy Houmard and third baseman Robert McIntosh each collected two runs batted in.
Game one starter Lucas Clarke (1-1) was credited with the loss, allowing seven runs (five earned) on five hits in three innings. Corey Randall (1-3) got the start in game two, giving up five runs (four earned) on seven hits in 3.1 innings of work.
CSU’s Tory Schroff picked up the game one victory to improve to 4-1 on the year, allowing four runs on eight hits while striking out six Bulldogs. Kevin Buran pitched a gem in game two, giving up one run on five hits over eight innings to improve to 1-5 on the year.
In game one the Bucs jumped out to a 7-1 lead over the first three innings, before the Bulldogs pulled to within four runs of CSU in the fourth, scoring on a Billy Creighton double and a Phillip Treadway sacrifice bunt. Charleston answered with two runs of their own in the bottom of the fourth, on a Zack Hagaman two-run homer to right-center.
The Bulldogs added a run in the fifth only to see CSU post an answer in the bottom of the frame. Down 11-4 in the seventh the Bulldogs scored two runs, and then posted another in the eighth, but the Bucs were able to stymie the Asheville comeback.
Game two saw the Bucs jump out to a 4-0 lead in the first inning, highlighted by a Hagaman three-RBI double. CSU added a run in the third, then two more in the fifth on a Zach Haralambis two-RBI single. Kyle Towles doubled in a run for the Bulldogs in top of the eighth, but the Bucs would answer with an Alex Tomasovich solo shot to left in the bottom of the inning.
The Bucs would go on to win by the final of 8-1.
Asheville will take on mountain rival Western Carolina on Tuesday and Wednesday this week, as the two teams will trade home games. The Bulldogs will travel to Cullowhee, N.C., on Tuesday for a 5 p.m. contest against the Catamounts before hosting WCU on Wednesday evening at McCormick Field. First pitch on Wednesday is set for 6 p.m. at the historic ballpark.