FARMVILLE, Va. – Freshman pitcher Lucas Clarke threw six strong innings, while senior designated hitter Billy Creighton went 3-for-5 at the plate with three runs batted in to help UNC Asheville pick up an 11-1 victory over Longwood on Sunday afternoon at Bolding Stadium, as the Bulldogs win the final game of the three-game series.
“Lucas (Clarke) gave us a quality start, and was in control the entire time he was out there,” said Bulldogs’ head coach Tom Smith. “Several guys stepped up at the plate, and it makes it easier when things are clicking well to pick up a victory.”
With the victory the Blue & White improve to 8-13 overall, and 1-2 in Big South Conference play. Longwood falls to 10-9 on the season, and 2-1 in the league.
Clarke (1-0) gave up one run on seven hits in six innings of work, walking two and striking out six Lancers. Nick Schavone and Dillon Tabar closed out the game for the Bulldogs, combining for six K’s (three each) in three shutout innings.
Creighton posted a game-high three RBI and three runs scored for Asheville, while catcher Ian Graham went 3-for-4 with two RBI and two runs scored. Third baseman Justin Woods was 3-for-5 with two RBI and leftfielder Tommy Houmard was 2-for-5 with two RBI, as the Bulldogs collected 17 hits as a team.
Longwood’s shortstop C.J. Roth and centerfielder Travis Burnette each had two hits and catcher Scott Burkett had an RBI for the Lancers, while freshman Blake Ream took the pitching loss with the first 5.2 innings.
The Lancers took the early lead against the Bulldogs, plating a run in the bottom of the first on a Burkett ground out. Asheville answered in the top of the third, taking a 2-1 lead on a Graham single to right-center and that scored one and then a Creighton ground out that scored another.
The Bulldogs added runs in the fifth and sixth innings, scoring on a passed ball and another Graham RBI-single to take a 4-1 lead after six innings.
Asheville would go on to add two in the seventh, two in the eight, and three runs in the ninth inning, highlighted by a Creighton double to right-center.
The Bulldogs will be back in action on Wednesday evening, when they travel to Spartanburg, S.C., to take on USC Upstate in a midweek matchup. First pitch is set for 6 p.m. between the Bulldogs and the Spartans.