ASHEVILLE, N.C. – UNC Asheville scored twice in the bottom of the seventh inning with two clutch two-out hits as the Bulldogs rallied past USC Upstate 5-4 in non-conference baseball action Tuesday afternoon at Greenwood Field.
The win by Asheville (13-26) ended a four-game losing streak in one-run games. The Spartans fell to 21-16 with the loss.
Phillip Treadway led the Bulldogs attack with three hits and two RBIs. Todd Joyner, Kyle Towles and Robert McIntosh added two hits each. Asheville had 12 hits in the game and it marked the ninth time in the last 10 games the Bulldogs had double-figures in hits.
The win went to reliever Brian Connolly (2-3) who retired all seven hitters he faced. Billy Creighton earned his third save of the year by getting USC Upstate out in the top of the ninth inning with just one hit.
Asheville trailed 4-3 entering the bottom of seventh. Houmard and McIntosh led the inning off with singles to put runners on first and second. However, Spartan reliever Daniel Seeba was able to get two fly-ball outs to keep both runners at bay.
Sophomore first baseman Hunter Bryant came through with a single to left-field to plate Houmard with the tying run at 4-4.
With runners on first and second, Treadway lifted a fly ball to short right-field that fell for a hit, scoring McIntosh with the go-ahead run and a 5-4 Bulldog lead.
In the top of the ninth, Creighton allowed a lead-off single to Gaither Baumgardner. Facing the heart of the USC Upstate order, he was able to get a ground-out, a fly-out and then struck out Trey Richarson to end the game.
Asheville opened the second scoring in the second inning. Joyner singled to open the inning, followed by Justin Woods getting hit by a pitch to put runners on first and second. Bryant put down a perfect sacrifice bunt to put runners on second and third.
Treadway had an infield single that scored Joyner with the first run of the game, while Woods moved to third. Sam Turner grounded out to short, scoring Woods and push the Bulldogs in front 2-0.
The Spartans came back with three runs in the top of third inning to take a 3-2 lead. Asheville had three errors in the inning to help the visitors go in front.
The Bulldogs battled back in the bottom of the frame. Kyle Towles walked to open the inning. A sacrifice bunt placed him on second. Joyner delivered a run-scoring single to knot the game at 3-3.
UNC Asheville is back in action when the Bulldogs host High Point in a Big South Conference three-game series starting on Friday at 3 p.m.