ASHEVILLE, N.C. – Dean Roland pitched seven strong innings, and UNC Asheville scored four runs in the first three innings as the Bulldogs downed Presbyterian College 4-2 in Big South Conference baseball action Saturday afternoon.
The win by Asheville (12-25, 2-9 BSC) snapped a seven-game BSC losing streak. The Blue Hose dropped to 19-19 overall and 6-5 in league play.
Tommy Houmard led the home team at the plate with two hits and a solo homer. Sam Turner and Andrew Kirkland contributed two hits each. Kirkland had a run-scoring triple.
Nathan Chong hit a home run for PC, while Brandon Paul, Jay Lizanich and Ryan Hagan had two hits each for the visitors.
Roland improved to 2-6 on the season by scattering eight hits and allowing two runs in seven innings of work. He struck out eight and walked just two. Billy Creighton pitched the final two innings and earned his second save of the year.
Asheville opened the scoring in the first inning when Houmard homered over the right-field wall for a quick 1-0 Bulldog lead.
The home team used big hits from Turner and Kirkland to score twice in the following inning. Turner had a one-out double. Kirkland tripled to right-center to score Kirkland for a 2-0 lead. Ian Graham’s sacrifice fly plated Kirkland for a 3-0 Asheville lead.
Chong got PC on the board in the third with a solo homer to left to cut the lead to 3-1. The Bulldogs got the run back in the bottom of the frame on Kyle Towles’ RBI-single.
The Blue Hose mounted a threat in the fourth. Paul opened the inning with a double. He scored when Cam McRae doubled to narrow the lead to 4-2.
However, McRae was picked off by Roland for the first out of the inning. The Blue Hose eventually got runners to second and third but Roland got a strike-out to end the threat.
Creighton came on for Roland in the eighth. He allowed lead-off singles to Presbyterian College in the eighth and ninth innings. But he got a double-play ball in the eighth and got the final three outs of the game in the ninth to give Asheville the victory.
Graham did not reach base for the Bulldogs in the win. He had reached base in 34 straight games.
The teams will play the third and final game of their series Sunday afternoon at 1 p.m.