ASHEVILLLE, N.C. – UNC Asheville scored three runs in the bottom of the eighth inning as the Bulldogs rallied past Gardner-Webb, 4-3 in Big South Conference baseball action at Greenwood Field Friday night.
Asheville (6-14, 1-3 BSC) won its first league game of the season as the Bulldogs trailed 2-1 entering the eighth but took advantage of two Runnin’ Bulldog (8-14, 1-3 BSC) errors to take a 4-2 lead.
Gardner-Webb scored once in the ninth and had the tying and go-ahead runs in the top of the ninth inning but Scott Robinson was able to get the final out for his fourth save of the season.
“Outstanding job by our pitching staff today, everybody who threw today did an outstanding job,” said Asheville skipper Tom Smith. “One of our goals was to find a way to win today and we did that. I couldn’t be more proud to be a Bulldog today.”
Trailing 2-1, Tanner Bush led off the eighth with a single. He went to second on a sacrifice bunt by Kyle Towles. Derek Smith followed with an RBI-single to knot the game at 2-2.
Robert McIntosh then reached on an error at third base to put runners on first and second. Treadway grounded out to put runners on second and third.
Hunter Bryant’s ground ball to short was mishandled for an error as two Asheville runs scored to put the home team in front for good at 4-2.
GWU opened the scoring in the first with some clutch two-out hitting. Scott Coleman tripled with two outs. Matt Simmons singled in Coleman for a 1-0 lead.
Nick Triplett followed with another triple and 2-0 Runnin’ Bulldog lead.
Asheville came back with a run in the second to cut the lead to 2-1. Eli Miller’s RBI-double plated Phillip Treadway for the Bulldogs first run of the game.
Nick Schavone (1-1) picked up his first win of the season in a relief appearance, allowing one run over 1.1 innings. Starter Joe Zayatz tossed 6.2 innings for the Blue & White, allowing two runs on seven hits with six strikeouts.
GWU’s Matt Fraudin allowed four runs (two earned) in eight innings pitched to fall to 1-2 on the season.
The teams will finish their series on Saturday with a double-header starting at 1 p.m.