The Runnin' Bulldogs (3-0-1) remained unbeaten with the win, and got solid pitching again against the Eagles (3-2). The Gardner-Webb bullpen hurled six shutout innings with only one hit allowed to help with the victory.
Alex Newman ripped a single to center to lead off the bottom of the 11th, moved to second on a sacrifice bunt from JJ Nazzaro and darted to third on a wild pitch. Morehead State reliever Matt Anderson intentionally walked sluggers Ryan Hodge and Scott Coleman to load the bases, and struck out pinch hitter Adam Tiller for the second out.
Smith, a sophomore catcher from Indian Trail, N.C. (Grace Academy), then ripped a pitch from Anderson sharply through the left side of the infield to drive home Newman for the game winner.
Gardner-Webb starter Beau Hilton scattered five hits and struck out eight in 5.0 innings of solid work in a no decision, allowing just a two-out, two-run double to Chris Robinson in the top of the fourth.
Freshman righty Hunter Smith was outstanding in relief, retiring the first nine batters he faced and 12 of the 13 men who stepped in the box in 4.0 innings of no-hit relief (two strikeouts). Mitch Warner worked 1.2 innings with a strikeout before Scarborough came on to close things out.
Anderson (0-1) took the loss out of the pen for Morehead State, allowing two hits and a run in 0.2 innings pitched. Starter Blake Smith scattered six hits and allowed just one run in 5.0 innings. Morgan Cirbo gave up the tying run on an an RBI double from Brad Collins in the eighth. Matt Duncan worked 2.0 scoreless innings and fanned four to keep the game tied.
Gardner-Webb went up 1-0 on an RBI groundout from Henry Rundio in the bottom of the second, which scored Collins from third.
Gardner-Webb collected 11 hits, with Collins going 3-for-4 with three doubles, a run scored and a key RBI. Coleman (2-for-3) and Newman (2-for-5, run) also had multiple hits for the Runnin' Bulldogs - who left 15 men on base for the game.
Morehead State had six hits - five singles - Thursday night. Kane Sweeney (2-for-5) and Jeff Birkhofer (2-for-5) paced that effort. Robinson (1-for-4, 2B, 2 RBI) drove in both of the Eagles' runs with his double in the top of the fourth.
The two teams are scheduled to play Game Two of the series on Friday at 4:00 pm, weather permitting.