ASHEVILLE, N.C. The UNC Asheville baseball team plays its first official night game this evening when the Bulldogs host mountain rival Western Carolina starting at 6 p.m.
Tonight’s game is the dedication of the new lights that were installed last fall. A grant from the Buncombe County Tourism Development Authority allowed the school to put the lights on both the baseball and soccer fields. Members from the Tourism Product Development Fund Committee are on hand tonight to throw out the first pitch and celebrate the new lights at Greenwood Field.
The lights on the field are supplied by Torrence Sports Lighting, Inc. They are the ones that donated the free energy efficient light bulbs to all the fans coming into Greenwood Field tonight.
Fans are encouraged to get here early for this evening’s contest. Concessions will include hot dogs, lemonade and ice cream from The Hop. There will be free cotton candy and Crackers Jack handed out, courtesy of the Grove Apartments.
Five bakeries will compete in an apple pie contest that will be judged by media celebrities. Our celebrities are Dean Hensley, Sports Editor of the Hendersonville Times-News, Luke Notestine, Sports Reporter at WLOS and Rick Rice, D.J. at Rock 105.1.
In addition, the school will be giving away two $1,000 scholarships to two students for the 2014-15 academic year. The winning student must be present to win.
The Bulldogs (11-22) have had their shares of ups and down this season but enter tonight’s game with two straight wins. Asheville edged Coastal Carolina on Sunday, 2-1 behind a four-hitter and complete game from Corey Randall. The Bulldogs slipped past Davidson last night, 12-10.
Asheville trailed 10-9 in the bottom of the eighth inning but rallied for three runs with three RBI’s coming from three different players in the inning. Freshman outfielder Tanner Bush had three hits and three RBI’s in the win, including his first career home run and a two-run double. Elliot Criss picked up the win in relief. It was a special night for Criss who made his first appearance in more than a year due to injuries. He did not allow a hit in his one inning of work. Scott Robinson retired the Wildcats in order for his fifth save of the year.
Asheville will have its hands full tonight with a red-hot Western Carolina (21-9) club that has won 10 straight entering this evening’s action. The Catamounts destroyed Presbyterian College last night, 16-0. WCU leads the SoCon with an 8-1 league mark as the Cats are looking for their second straight regular-season title and hope to go back to the NCAA Tournament. WCU has seven hitters hitting better than .300 with Cody Jones leading the way at .368. Jacob Hoyle and Adam Martin are tied for the team lead in home runs with eight. The Catamounts own impressive non-conference wins over Mississippi State, Clemson, LaSalle and Washington State.