ASHEVILLE, N.C. – The UNC Asheville baseball team returns to Greenwood Field this weekend as the Bulldogs play their first Big South Conference home games against Gardner-Webb.
Asheville’s series with the Runnin’ Bulldogs starts on Friday with a 5 p.m. start. Saturday and Sunday’s games will start at 2 p.m. The Sunday start time is a change as the game was originally supposed to start at 1 p.m.
The Bulldogs (5-14, 0-3 BSC) look for their first weekend win of the year. Asheville is 5-2 in mid-week games but is 0-12 on the weekend after a frustrating three-game loss at league rival Presbyterian College last weekend.
Tom Smith’s club bounced back on Tuesday with an exciting win at Furman. Asheville trailed 6-2 but scored the game’s next five runs to edge the Paladins, 7-6. Senior third baseman Robert McIntosh drove in four runs and had a two-run homer in the win.
“Hopefully that Furman win will give us some confidence for this weekend,” declared Smith. “We fell behind but didn’t panic and found a way to win. It was nice to get contributions from a lot of different people in the win.”
The Bulldogs face the Runnin’ Bulldogs (8-13, 1-2 BSC) that can really pitch. GWU has a team ERA of 2.78. They’ve posted three shutouts on the year, including an 8-0 blanking of Winthrop on Sunday for their first league win.
“Gardner-Webb has got some arms, and they know how to pitch,” admitted Smith. “They’re also very aggressive on the base-paths, so we’re going to have to be ready for that part of the game.
“We just need to play clean baseball and take advantage of our opportunities when we have them,” added Smith. “It’ll be nice to play at home in front of our fans at home.”
Asheville is being led at the plate by sophomore catcher/DH Pete Guy. He just started playing last week and has made an impact in the line-up with a .385 average with three home runs and tied for the team lead in RBI’s with 11.
Senior outfielder Phillip Treadway has a .333 average, followed by junior infielder Tommy Houmard with a .311 mark.
The Bulldogs are scheduled to start freshman right-hander Joe Zayatz (1-3, 5.40 ERA) on Friday and TBA on Saturday and Sunday. Zayatz pitched well last Friday at PC as he allowed just one run through six innings of work before the Blue Hose rallied for a 6-5 win.
Phillip Treadway brings an 11-game hitting streak into Friday’s game against Gardner-Webb.
Asheville and Gardner-Webb split a two-game series a year ago in Boiling Springs. The Dogs won 8-7 in 13 innings before GWU won the next day, 5-1. There was no third game due to rain.
The Bulldogs are 1-1 in one-run games this season.
Asheville is 5-0 when leading after eight innings.
Scott Robinson had three saves for the Bulldogs on the year.
Asheville has had at least 12 hits in four of the last six games.
The Bulldogs have played just six home games this year and are 2-4 at Greenwood Field.