The Runnin' Bulldogs (26-21, 8-8 Big South) won their fourth straight in league play, and improved to 3-0 in extra innings games.
The game was a magnificent pitcher's duel, with Gardner-Webb freshman Matt Fraudin matching Radford ace Eddie Butler pitch for pitch through eight innings.
The Runnin' Bulldogs got their lone run in the bottom of the fifth, when Henry Rundio followed a Scott Johnson single with a one-out RBI double off the base of the fence in left center. Ryan Hodge nearly added another run, but his looping line drive was caught at first base, and Radford's Butler pitched out of the jam with a strikeout to end the inning.
Radford (25-19, 10-6 Big South) caught up in the top of the ninth, with Josh Gardiner's single to lead off the inning the first blow. Brett Mollenhauer followed by chopping a single through the right side to put runners on the corners with no outs, and Gardner-Webb went to its bullpen.
Jeff Howell came on to strike out cleanup man Matt Mack for the first out, but Patrick Marshall got enough of a slider to chop a ball to second slowly - eliminating the chance for a double play. The second out was recorded at first base, but Gardiner trotted home from third to tie the game, 1-1. Howell recovered to strike out Phil Bondi and leave Mollenhauer stranded at second.
Scott Coleman led off the bottom of the ninth with single up the middle, but a sacrifice bunt attempt was popped up. Coleman scrambled back to first to avoid a double play, and moved into scoring position on a wild pitch with one out. Adam McFarland launched a ball into the gap, but Radford centerfielder Zach Costello made a diving play in left center to keep the score tied. Jason Patten then recorded a six-pitch strikeout to end the inning and send the game into the bonusphere.
Gardner-Webb again got a leadoff single when Benji Jackson lined a ball to centerfield in the 10th, and a sacrifice bunt by Rundio moved the Bulldogs' centerfielder to second base. A ground ball by Hodge nearly snuck through the right side, but a nice play at first base kept the score tied. Jackson moved to third on that play, however, and Quattlebaum's high chopper was enough to get Jackson home for the game winner - as the ball riccocheted off the glove of a hard charging Mollenhauer.
Coleman (2-for-4), Johnson (2-for-3, run) and Jackson (2-for-4, SB, run) led Gardner-Webb's 10-hit attack, with Coleman extending his streak of reaching base to 20 games. Rundio, Hodge, Quattlebaum and Brad Collins each had one hit for the 'Dogs.
Fraudin went a career-long 8.0 innings and struck out a career-high seven batters in a no decision, scattering six hits - with two of those knocks coming in the ninth inning. Howell (3-3) hurled 2.0 perfect innings with three strikeouts for the win.
Radford collected six singles in the game, with Gardiner (2-for-3) and Mollenhauer (2-for-4) leading that effort.
Butler, a righthander projected to go in the first two rounds of June's Major League Draft, was strong again for the Highlanders in a no decision, striking out 10 batters and allow just one run on seven hits in 8.0 innings.
Patten (2-3) was tagged with the loss, allowing three singles and striking out one in 1.2 innings of relief work.
Gardner-Webb and Radford will play again on Saturday at John Henry Moss Stadium/Bill Masters Field. First pitch is slated for 2:00 pm, and will air live on WGWG-FM (88.3 / wgwg.org). The game will also stream live on the Big South Network (bigsouthsports.com), the league's subscription-based video service.