BOILING SPRINGS – Gardner-Webb scored two runs with two outs in the bottom of the sixth and added another in the seventh to key a 4-2 win over Charleston Southern Saturday afternoon.
The Runnin' Bulldogs (17-13-1, 6-5 Big South) got a sharp single to right from Benji Jackson to start its rally in the sixth with Gardner-Webb trailing 2-1. Scott Coleman followed with a base on balls and Brad Collins tied the game on a single to left.
Pinch hitter Adam Tiller stepped in and roped a ball to left center that got past a diving fielder, driving home Coleman for a 3-2 lead. Collins tried the score from first as Tiller pulled in with a double, but was thrown out at the plate to keep the Gardner-Webb at one run.
Gardner-Webb starter Andrew Barnett got two quick outs in the top of the seventh, but consecutive singles from Kevin Hickey and Bobby Ison forced a call to the bullpen. Reliever Conner Scarborough was able to get out of the jam quickly, getting a fly ball to centerfield to end the frame.
Scott Johnson continued to swing a hot bat in the bottom half, leading off with a single. A sacrifice bunt by Danny Yelverton was misplayed three pitches later, and the speedy outfielder reached base on the error to put two on board.
The Buccaneers (11-19, 3-5 Big South) got a leadoff single from Zack Hagaman in the eighth, but Scarborough rolled three consecutive ground balls to end any thoughts of a rally. The senior came back out for the ninth and, after a leadoff single from Drew Woodall, got a strikeout-caught stealing double play to quickly negate that threat. Scarborough then fanned Hickey to end the game for his first save of the season.
Charleston Southern jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the second, collecting four consecutive singles to get things started. The fourth hit, an RBI knock from Woodall, put the Bucs up 1-0. The visitors scored another run on a 4-3 double play, but Barnett ended the inning with a strikeout to avoid further damage.
Scott Coleman led off the bottom of the second with a long home run to left, and neither team scored again until Gardner-Webb's two-out rally in the sixth.
Barnett (2-1) picked up the win, hurling 6.2 innings, scattering 10 singles and allowing two runs (four strikeouts). Scarborough hurled 2.1 scoreless frames for the save, fanning a pair in the ninth.
Jackson (2-4, 2B, run) led a seven-hit day for the Gardner-Webb offense, and had a run-saving catch of a rising line drive in right field to save a run in the fourth inning. Coleman (1-for-2, HR, 2 runs, RBI) and Tiller (1-for-1, 2B, RBI) drove in runs for the 'Dogs.
Charleston Southern starter Tory Schroff (4-2) was the hard-luck loser on the mound. The southpaw hurled 7.0 innings, allowed just three earned runs and struck out nine (two walks) with six hits allowed.
The Buccaneers collected 12 hits in the game, all singles. Ison (2-for-4), Alex Tomosovich (2-for-4), Streett (2-for-4) and Woodall (2-for-4) each had multiple safeties on the afternoon.
Gardner-Webb and Charleston Southern will wrap up the weekend series on Sunday at 2:00 pm.