CHARLOTTE, N.C. – Rookie pitcher Joe Zayatz picked up his first career win as UNC Asheville downed Charlotte 5-1 in non-conference baseball action Wednesday afternoon at Hayes Stadium.
The Bulldogs (3-7-0) won for the second straight day as four Asheville pitchers allowed 10 hits but just one run.
Tommy Houmard led Asheville as the plate with two hits and an RBI. Erik Connolly scored two runs, added a hit and two RBI’s.
“This is a fine win against a very good Charlotte program,” stated Asheville coach Tom Smith. “We had it all today. Our guys did a good job pitching. We had some clutch hits and got the job done on defense.”
Charlotte led 1-0 after scoring a run in the second inning before the Bulldogs tied the game with some clutch hitting.
Lucas Owens opened the inning with a single, went to second on a sacrifice bunt from Kyle Carruthers. With two outs, Houmard singled in Owens to knot the game at 1-1.
Asheville took the lead for good with three runs in the fourth. Hunter Bryant opened with a walk and went to third on a double from Eli Miller. Connolly then doubled to left-center, scoring two runs and a 3-1 Bulldog lead. Connolly scored later in the inning on a sacrifice fly from Owens to pad the margin to 4-1.
The visitors scored one more time in the sixth. With two outs, Connolly reached on an error. Phillip Treadway doubled him in to increase the Asheville lead to 5-1.
Zayatz pitched the first five innings, allowing just one run on six hits with one walk and one strikeout.
Steible pitched the next three innings and kept the 49ers off the scoreboard. He danced around trouble in the sixth and eighth innings but got key strikeouts each time to keep the Bulldogs in front, 4-1.
In the ninth inning, Charlotte loaded the bases on three walks with one out. Scott Robinson came and picked up a strikeout and then got Brad Elwood to fly out to end the game. It was Robinson’s second save of the year.
Zayatz improved his record to 1-2 on the young season.
UNC Asheville will begin a three-game series at Appalachian State on Friday starting at 4 p.m.