BOILING SPRINGS, N.C. - John Harris drove in two runs and the Gardner-Webb pitching staff posted another strong outing Saturday to lead the Runnin' Bulldogs to a 2-1 win over Valparaiso.
Gardner-Webb (7-3) won its second game in a row, and saw junior lefty Conner Scarborough (1-0) pick up his first mound win of the season in three starts.
Scarborough scattered six hits (five singles) through 6.1 innings and struck out five batters with only one walk issued. Jeff Howell (1.2 IP) and Adam Izokovic (1.0 IP, SV) held the lead for Gardner-Webb in the late innings, with Izokovic striking out two to earn his 15th career save.
The Runnin' Bulldogs struck first in the game, with Scott Johnson collecting a one-out single to center to get things started. Scott Coleman followed with a two-out hit to right, and moved to second on a throw home that held Johnson up at third. Harris then roped a first-pitch fastball into left to drive in both runners for a 2-0 Gardner-Webb lead.
Valparaiso (3-4), coming off a 10-9 win at No. 4 Arkansas last Sunday, attempted to rally in the seventh. Mark Johnson used good speed to turn what appeared to be a single to right into a double, and moved to third on a sacrifice bunt by Tanner Vavra.
Andrew Bain drove home the Crusaders' only run of the game with a single back to the mound that bounced off of Howell's foot. Howell got out of the inning, however, with Henry Rundio and Johnson starting a spectacular 6-4-3 double play to get Gardner-Webb back into the dugout with its lead intact.
A leadoff error gave Valpo life again in the eighth, and another sacrifice bunt put the tying run in scoring position. Howell recovered again, coaxing a soft grounder to first for the second out, and fanning Billy Cribbs on a slider to end the threat.
Izokovic worked through the ninth inning in order, striking out the final two batters he faced for the Bulldogs' first save of the season.
Gardner-Webb managed seven hits in the game, with Johnson (2-for-3, run) and Harris (2-for-3, 2 RBI) leading the way. Brantley Smith (1-for-3), Adam McFarland (1-for-3) and Coleman (1-for-3, run) also collected hits for the 'Dogs.
Crusaders' starter Tyler Deetjen (0-2) took the loss, despite pitching all eight innings and throwing just 71 pitches in an efficient outing. Deetjen scattered seven hits, struck out two and did not issue a walk. His defense helped out by recording three double plays.
Valparaiso also collected seven hits, with Bain (2-for-4) the lone Crusader with more than one. The visitors left nine men on base.Gardner-Webb will be back in action on Sunday at John Henry Moss Stadium/Bill Masters Field, hosting Albany at 2:00 pm.