BOILING SPRINGS - Adam McFarland dropped in an RBI single with two outs in the bottom of the 10th inning Wednesday night, scoring Alex Newman from first to give Gardner-Webb a 6-5 win over USC Upstate.
Gardner-Webb (14-8) took a 5-4 lead in the sixth when Zeke Blanton roped a two-run single to right with two outs and the bases loaded, capping a three-run inning. That lead stood until the top of the ninth, when USC Upstate (16-4) took advantage of a throwing error to plate the tying run.
Austin Liput roped a one-out double to left center to start that rally for the Spartans, and scored when Brody Greer's grounder to third was thrown away at first base. Gardner-Webb closer Adam Izokovic pressed on despite the miscue, getting a diving stab of a line drive by Dusty Quattlebaum to end the inning with the game still tied.
The Runnin' Bulldogs got the potential winning run on board via an error in the bottom of the ninth, but could not break through. The Spartans drew a walk and collected a single to get two men on board in the top of the 10th, but Izokovic worked out of the jam to give Gardner-Webb its chance at the win in the bottom half.
Quattlebaum ripped a single to left center with one out, but was erased at second on a fielder's choice ground ball from the speedy Newman - who hustled down the line to avoid a double play. McFarland then put barrel to ball on an 0-1 pitch, and the ball dropped just in front of a deeply-positioned outfield, allowing Newman to race around from first to easily beat the throw home.
Quattlebaum gave Gardner-Webb an early 2-0 lead, hammering a pitch over the fence in right field in the bottom of the first inning for his fifth home run of the year. That two-out blast scored Benji Jackson, who walked to lead off the inning.
The 'Dogs did not score again unti the sixth, as USC Upstate plated single runs in the second and fourth - and two runs in the fifth to take a 4-2 lead. In the sixth, Gardner-Webb got a leadoff single from Scott Coleman and an RBI single from Brad Collins to trim the lead to 4-3.
A pair of walks loaded the bases for the Runnin' Bulldogs, and Blanton took a 2-2 pitch the other way into right for his first two RBI of the season to give GWU its 5-4 lead.
Izokovic (2-0) picked up the win, working 2.1 innings and allowing just one unearned run on two hits with a strikeout. Mitch Warner (1.0 IP) and Jeff Howell (0.2 IP) posted scoreless outings in relief of starter Andrew Barnett, who pitched 6.0 solid innings with four runs allowed on six hits. The sophomore righty fanned five and did not issue a walk.
Quattlebaum (2-for-5, HR, 2 RBI), Coleman (2-for-3, run) and Collins (2-for-4, RBI) paced Gardner-Webb's 10-hit effort at the plate. Blanton and Quattlebaum each had two runs batted in.
Jordan Rusk (0-1) was tagged with the mound loss for Upstate, which saw a four-game win streak come to an end. Starter David Palladino - a 13th-round pick in last June's Major League Draft - worked 5.2 innings, scattered seven hits and allowed five runs (five strikeouts). Chris Knauff, Chad Sobotka and Andrew Wyant each worked scoreless innings for the Spartans in relief.
USC Upstate collected nine hits, with Lipt (2-for-5, 2B, 2 runs) leading the way.
Gardner-Webb will turn its attention to Big South play this weekend, hitting the road to face the league's hottest team at Liberty (20-3). The Flames are riding a four-game win streak heading into Friday's opener. First pitch is set for 6 pm ET at Worthington Stadium.