ASHEVILLE, N.C. – With two runners on base and two outs already recorded in the bottom of the ninth inning in a game tied at 4-4, UNC Asheville rightfielder Todd Joyner delivered a single that squeaked through the rightside, scoring a runner from second and giving the Bulldogs a 5-4 victory over Temple University on Sunday afternoon at Greenwood Field.
The Bulldogs (6-10) entered the ninth inning trailing 4-2, but were able to get three runners across the plate in the final frame for the victory. The Owls drop to 3-8 with the setback.
“What a day for the Bulldogs,” said UNC Asheville skipper Tom Smith. “Lucas Clarke gave us a chance on the mound and our then bullpen kept us close. We’re down two outs with two strikes on the board and Todd Joyner comes through for us. It’s a little bit more fun when you win these.”
“I didn’t want to strikeout,” said Joyner. “I just wanted to give myself a chance. It was an inside fastball that I got a piece of, and it found a hole in the infield. This was a great win for us.”
With the victory the Bulldogs take the series, 2-1.
Joyner was 1-for-4 at the plate for the Blue & White, with one run batted in. Centerfielder Phillip Treadway went 2-for-3 at the plate with a RBI, while designated hitter Billy Creighton went 2-for-5 while driving in a run.
Clarke got the start for Asheville, throwing 5.1 innings. He allowed two runs (one earned) on four hits with four walks and three strikeouts. Dillon Tabar picked up the win in a relief appearance to improve to 2-0 on the season.
Temple was led offensively by DH Henry Knabe (2-for-2, 1 RBI) and third baseman Derek Peterson (1-for-4, 2 RBI). Starter Preston Hill pitched 7.2 innings, allowing two runs (one earned) on five hits while striking out five batters, but the loss was credited to reliever Zach Batchelor, who allowed three runs (all unearned) on four hits in one inning of work.
The Bulldogs will be back in action on Tuesday evening when they travel to Spartanburg, S.C., to take on Wofford at 6 p.m. This game was originally scheduled for Feb. 17, but was postponed due to inclement weather.