BOILING SPRINGS - Gardner-Webb used a nine-run burst in the third inning of Saturday's nightcap to build a 13-4 lead, and held on for a 14-10 win over Alabama State - splitting the afternoon doubleheader.
Alabama State (7-14) took a 7-0 win in the opener.
Gardner-Webb jumped out to a big lead in the nightcap, and won its second game of the series in the process.
Alabama State plated four unearned runs in the top of the second to go up early, but Gardner-Webb answered with four runs itself in the bottom half of the second - with Adam McFarland's two-run triple to right field the big blow.
The Runnin' Bulldogs (12-8) broke the game open in the third, sending 14 men to the plate and scoring nine runs on five hits, four walks and two hit batters. Scott Coleman had a pair of RBI singles in the frame, and Benji Jackson belted a two-run double to the warning track in right center. Dusty Quattlebaum had a sacrifice fly, McFarland had an RBI single and the 'Dogs had three RBI via two walks and a hit batter with the bases loaded.
Alabama State got a solo home run in the top of the fifth from Waldyvan Estrada to pull within 13-5, but Gardner-Webb got that run back after a John Harris double and Quattlebaum single in the bottom half of the inning to make the score 14-5.
The Hornets got a leadoff walk and doubles from Estrada and Darrion Pedro to cut the lead to 14-7 with no outs in the top of the seventh. Leo Rojas followed with a sharp single to left to drive home Pedro to trim the margin to 14-8 before reliever Matt Liedberg could work out of the inning.
Alabama State tacked on two more runs in the top of the ninth for the final margin.
Beau Hilton (3-0) got the win, allowing just one earned run in a career-high six innings of work. Hilton fanned four, walked two and scattered nine hits (eight singles).
Gardner-Webb managed 10 hits, with Quattlebaum (2-for-2, 2 RBI, 2 runs), Coleman (2-for-4, 2 runs, 2 RBI), McFarland (2-for-4, 3B, 3 RBI), Jackson (1-for-3, 2B, 3 RBI) and Harris (1-for-3, 2B, 2 runs, RBI) pacing that effort.
Brad Collins (1-for-3, 2 runs, RBI) and Brantley Smith (1-for-1, 2B) also had hits for the 'Dogs.
Alabama State rapped out 15 hits in the game, with Rojas (4-for-5, 3 RBI) and Estrada (3-for-3, 2B, HR, 4 runs, RBI) leading that charge.
ASU starter Ron Frost (1-4) took the loss, lasting just 2.1 innings and allowing eight runs (six earned) on four hits, five walks and two hit batters.
First baseman/catcher Manny Rodriguez came on to finish the game on the mound for the Hornets, working 5.2 innings and allowing just two runs on five hits with a pair of strikeouts.
Alabama State used timely hits to slip out to a 4-0 lead midway through Saturday's opener, and added three insurance runs in the final two innings for a 7-0 win over Gardner-Webb in game one of a doubleheader.
The Hornets (7-14) scored single runs in the second, third, fourth and fifth inning - including three with two outs - to take its early lead, and added three runs late to put the game out of reach. The lone extra base hit through the first five innings for ASU was a two-out, solo home run from Darrion Pedro in the fifth to put the Hornets up 4-0.
Gardner-Webb (11-8) could not get its offense on track, stranding a pair of runners in the first inning in scoring position.
Alabama State starter T.J. Renda kept the 'Dogs off balance with a steady diet of offspeed pitches, retiring 10 batters in a row during a stretch from the third through the sixth inning. John Harris broke that string up with a sharp two-out single to left in the sixth, and Dusty Quattlebaum followed with a single through the right side - but Renda got out of the brief jam with a fly ball to left.
The Hornets added to their lead in the eighth, with Leo Rojas coming around to score on a ground out and ensuing throw over to third that got away - sending Rojas home for a 5-0 cushion. The lead grew to 7-0 in the top of the ninth, with back-to-back triples from Pedro and Leo Rojas driving in runs.
Renda (3-1) picked up the win, working 8.0 innings, striking out eight and scattering five hits with one walk. The freshman righty needed only 108 pitches to get through his outing.
The Hornets managed 15 hits, with Richard Gonzalez going 3-for-5 with a pair of RBI singles to lead the way. Pedro (3-for-5, 3B, HR, 2 RBI) and Rojas (3-for-5, 3B, 2 RBI) also had three of Alabama State's hits, while Richard Amion (2-for-5) added a pair.
Conner Scarborough (1-2) was the pitcher of record for Gardner-Webb, scattering nine hits (eight singles) and allowing just two earned runs in 5.0 innings of work (three strikeouts).
The Runnin' Bulldogs were held to five hits, with Benji Jackson (2-for-4, 2B) leading that effort.
The two teams will wrap up the four-game series on Sunday at 1:00 pm at John Henry Moss Stadium/Bill Masters Field.