Runnin' Bulldogs Complete Sweep With 3-2 Win Sunday Afternoon -—Official Web Site of Gardner-Webb Athletics
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Heiligenstadt delivers home in the top of the second inning Sunday afternoon.
Courtesy: Saxon Simpson
Runnin' Bulldogs Complete Sweep With 3-2 Win Sunday Afternoon
Courtesy: Gardner-Webb
          Release: April 07, 2013
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BOILING SPRINGS – Henry Rundio's sacrifice fly in the bottom of the eighth provided the winning margin and Erik Heiligenstadt hurled a complete game to help Gardner-Webb to a 3-2 win over Charleston Southern Sunday.

The win moved head coach Rusty Stroupe into second place on Gardner-Webb's wins list for a career. The Cherryville, N.C., native has posted a 306-289-2 record in 11 seasons in charge of the Runnin' Bulldogs.

Stroupe moved past legendary Hall of Famer Jerry Bryson on the list. Bryson, a Gardner-Webb pioneer who experienced great success leading the baseball program from the junior college to senior college ranks, won 305 games from 1967-1980. Hall of Famer Clyde Miller, who coached at Gardner-Webb from 1990-2002, is the all time wins leader at GWU with 326.

The sweep is the first of the season in league play for the Runnin' Bulldogs (18-13-1, 7-5 Big South), and the first over Charleston Southern (11-20, 3-6 Big South) since joining the conference for the 2009 campaign.

Shortstop Ryan Hodge, who celebrated his 20th birthday on Sunday, led off the bottom of the eighth with a walk, moved to second on a wild pitch and stood at third with one out after a ground ball to the right side by leadoff man JJ Nazzaro.

Rundio then lifted a 1-2 pitch to right field, and Hodge slid in ahead of the tag for the go-ahead run and a 3-2 Gardner-Webb lead.

The Runnin' Bulldogs needed some strong defense in the top of the ninth to hold on. Bobby Ison and Alex Tomasovich led off the ninth with consecutive singles, and Zack Hagaman laced a 1-0 pitch from Heiligenstadt to right – but Benji Jackson made his second run-saving catch in as many days for the first out, diving for the first out of the inning.

Chase Shelton roped a single to left three pitches later, but left fielder Scott Coleman gunned down Ison at the plate to preserve the lead. Heiligenstadt then knocked down a sharp ground ball back at the mound and tossed to first to end the game.

Charleston Southern jumped out to an early lead, as leadoff man Kevin Hickey led off the game with a single came around from second on an error in the top of the first to get things started. The Buccaneers added a run in the fourth, getting a walk to lead off the inning by Tomasovich and an RBI single with two outs from John Faircloth to go up 2-0.

Gardner-Webb tied the game in the bottom of the fourth with another two-out rally. Coleman drew a walk on four pitches, moved to second on a wild pitch, and came round to score on a John Harris single up the middle. Brad Collins then belted a double off the base of the fence in right center to drive Harris in from first to tie the game.

GWU stranded a runner in the bottom of the fifth, and Charleston Southern starter Kevin Buran sat down seven men in a row before walking Hodge to lead off the eighth.

After allowing Faircloth's RBI single in the fourth, Heiligenstadt settled in for the Runnin' Bulldogs, retiring 13 men in a row until Ison's hit to lead off the ninth.

Heiligenstadt (4-2) recorded his second complete game victory in Big South action, and the team's fifth of the season. He needed only 101 pitches to complete the game, scattered six singles and struck out two. Only one of the two runs he allowed was earned.

Gardner-Webb had five hits in the game, with Harris (2-for-3, RBI) leading the way. Nazzaro (1-for-4), Collins (1-for-3, 2B, RBI) and Scott Johnson (1-for-3) also collected safeties for the Runnin' Bulldogs.

Buran (1-6) took a tough loss on the mound for the Buccaneers, hurling 7.2 innings, scattering five hits and allowing three earned runs (four strikeouts, two walks).

Charleston Southern had six hits, with Ison going 2-for-4 to lead the way. Hickey (1-for-4, run), Tomasovich (1-for-3, run), Shelton (1-for-4) and Faircloth (1-for-4, RBI) rounded out the offensive production for the Buccaneers.

Gardner-Webb, in the midst of a seven-game home stand, will host Mars Hill on Wednesday night at 6:00 in John Henry Moss Stadium / Bill Masters Field.



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