ASHEVILLE, N.C. - Gardner-Webb led UNC Asheville 4-0 in the top of the eighth inning before the game was suspended due to lightning in the Asheville area.
The game will resume Saturday afternoon at 1 p.m. Following that game, the teams will play the final game of their three-game Big South Conference series. UNC Asheville will honor its six seniors prior to that game.
Gardner-Webb's pitching had held Asheville to just six hits in the game before the game was suspended. Three Runnin' Bulldogs pitchers - Matt Fraudin, Conner Scarborough and Jeff Howell - have kept the Bulldogs off the scoreboard through seven innings.
Bulldog starter Ryan Dull allowed just one run on five hits in five innings of work. Dull struck out three and moved into second place on the school's all-time career list for strikeouts. He now has 234 strikeouts as he passed former Bulldog great Josh White (232) when he struck out Henry Rundio to finish out the fourth inning.
The Runnin'Bulldogs scored their only run off Dull in the fourth. Scott Coleman walked with out. Brad Collins followed with a run-scoring double to put the visitors in front 1-0.
Asheville had some golden opportunities to score but for the second straight day did not score despite having the bases loaded and nobody out. In the bottom of the fourth inning, the Bulldogs had hits from Thomas Bess and Billy Creighton to put runners on first and third. Patrick Koontz walked to load the bases. But Fraudin was able to close the door as he got a force-out at the plate and two straight strikeouts to leave GWU in front, 1-0.
In the bottom of the fifth, Asheville got a one-out single from Miller and a walk to Lurie to put runners on first and second. After Lurie walked, the Runnin' Bulldogs went to their bullpen and brought Scarborough for Fraudin.
Scarborough was able to escape the jam with a strikeout and a ground-out.
The Bulldogs had a chance again in the seventh but a great defensive play stopped Asheville this time. With runners on first and second, Creighton singled to deep in the hole at shortstop. Miller tried to score from second on the play but a perfect toss from Ryan Hodge at short was able to get Miller out at the plate to end the inning.
GWU got some insurance in the eighth before lightning stopped the game. Coleman hit a two-run homer to push the lead to 3-0. A bunt single from pinch-hitter Benji Jackson brought in the visitors' fourth run to push the lead to 4-0.
The teams waited for more than an hour to try and resume the game but lightning strikes kept happening. The game was officially suspended at 6:30 p.m.