Suspended Game: UNC Asheville 7, Gardner-Webb 6
Regular Game: Gardner-Webb 10, UNC Asheville 3
ASHEVILLE, N.C. - UNC Asheville scored seven times in the bottom of the ninth inning to rally past Gardner-Webb 7-6 on Saturday in the suspended game from Friday in Big South Conference action.
In the regular game following the suspended contest, the Runnin' Bulldogs (30-26, 12-12) bounced back to down the Bulldogs 10-3 and win the weekend series. John Harris and Dusty Quattlebaum led the GWU 14-hit attack with three hits each. Will Canady hit his first career home-run, a two-run shot, in the seventh inning.
Asheville finished the regular season with a 25-28 overall record and a 12-12 worksheet in BSC play. The Bulldogs look like they'll be the sixth seed in the upcoming Big South Conference Tournament that starts at High Point on Tuesday. The 12 league wins are the second highest number of BSC victories in school history and the most since the 2003 season. Asheville's 25 wins are the most for the program since the 2006 campaign.
In the suspended game, the Bulldogs trailed 6-0 entering the bottom of the ninth inning before staging an incredible rally to pick up their 12th Big South Conference win of the season.
Sam Turner began the inning with a walk. Andrew Kirkland followed with a run-scoring double to get Asheville on the board at 6-1. Eli Miller followed with his fourth hit of the day to drive Kirkland in to narrow the lead to 6-2.
Adam Izokovic came on in relief for Gardner-Webb. Jordan Lurie greeted Izokovic with a single to put runners on first and second. Thomas Bess then struck out for Asheville for the first out of the inning.
Billy Creighton walked to load the bases. Clean-up hitter Patrick Koontz singled up the middle to plate two runs and suddenly Asheville was within 6-4 with the winning run at the plate.
Cody Adkins was called on to pinch-hit. He sent a ground ball to Quattlebaum at first. His throw to second went wild and into left-field. The error allowed Creighton to score to make it 6-5. Koontz went to third.
Izokovic came out for Mitch Warner. The left-hander then allowed the game to be tied as Todd Joyner bounced a single to right, scoring Koontz to stunningly tie the game at 6-6. Adkins went to third on the play.
Turner walked to load the bases. Facing Kirkland, Warner uncorked a wild pitch as Adkins raced home with the winning run and the incredible Asheville comeback.
Adam Spracklin (2-4) earned the win with two innings of work. Izokovic was tagged with the loss and dropped to 3-2.
In the second game, the Runnin Bulldogs scored three times in the third inning to jump out to a 3-0 lead. Adam McFarland had an RBI-double followed by a run-scoring triple from Harris. A sacrifice fly from Scott Coleman pushed the lead to 3-0.
Asheville tried to rally and scored single runs in the fifth and sixth innings to cut the lead to 3-2. Bess' RBI-single scored a run in the fifth. Adkins added an RBI-single in the sixth.
But Canady's two-run homer in the seventh pushed the GWU lead back to 5-2. The Runnin' Bulldogs put the game away with five runs in the eighth to pad the margin to 10-2.
Aaron Wright's pinch-hit single in the ninth plated Asheville's final run. The win went to Runnin' Bulldog starter Beau Hilton (6-3) who pitched the first five innings.