BOILING SPRINGS, N.C. – Gardner-Webb pounded out a season-high 21 hits and plated four runs in the third and fifth innings to roll to a 14-4 win over Murray State Sunday in the series finale.
Sophomore second baseman Matt Rizzuto finished 5-for-5 with four runs, four RBI a double and a triple to pace the Bulldogs’ biggest offensive day of the season. Jeremiah Lokken was 4-for-4 with three RBI and a triple, and Josh Drewery added three hits in five at bats with three RBI for Gardner-Webb (7-8). Shea Harris also had three hits for the ‘Dogs, going 3-for-4 with a steal and three runs scored.
Five other Bulldogs collected hits, with Jamaal Kinard going 2-for-2 with three runs scored and two walks. Daniel Cooke belted a two-run homer in the fifth inning – part of a four-run spurt – and the ‘Dogs added three runs in the seventh for the final margin.
The win was the second in a row for GWU over Murray State (1-8), and gave the hosts a series win as well.
Trailing 4-2 in the bottom of the third, Harris got things started for GWU with a double to left. Kinard walked and Ruzzuto got a single through the left side to load the bases with no outs – setting up what would be the game’s decisive rally. Drewery singled sharply to right to drive in a pair and tie the game, 4-4, then Justin Loyd put GWU ahead for good with an RBI single to the opposite field. Joey Testa drove in a run with a two-out single – and the Bulldogs would not look back.
Ben Campbell (2-1) picked up the win for Gardner-Webb, overcoming a rocky start to pitch 7.0 innings and scatter seven hits and four runs (six strikeouts). After allowing five hits and four runs in the first two frames, Campbell recovered to allow just two singles and no runs the rest of the way. In fact, the southpaw retired 10 batters in a row before allowing a single to roll through the right side in the seventh – and came back to pick that runner off with a nice move to first.
Murray State’s Lucas Allen (0-1) took the loss, allowing six runs on seven hits in 2.0 innings of work.
Seven different batters had one of Murray State’s seven hits, with James Akin ripping a two-run double to get things started in the top of the first. Seth Hudson (1-for-4, 3B, RBI) and Chad Allen (1-for-3, RBI) also drove in runs for the ‘Breds.
Gardner-Webb will play its fifth game against an ACC team on Tuesday, as the ‘Dogs travel to Winston-Salem, N.C., to face Wake Forest at 2:30 pm ET.