BOILING SPRINGS, N.C. – The Gardner-Webb baseball team continues to display power at the plate, hitting a combined five home runs throughout the day to split Saturday's doubleheader with Canisius.
Gardner-Webb (1-2) fell to Canisius (2-1) in the first game by a 9-5 score, but earned a 6-5 win in the nightcap.
Canisius jumped out to an early 2-0 lead and would extend their advantage in the late innings to take a 9-5 decision in the first game.
The Griffs scored runs in the first and third innings to go up 2-0, and would go up 4-0 in the top of the fourth inning after a 2-RBI single by Tim Kensinger. Gardner-Webb would respond in the bottom half of the frame, as Mickey Dugan would hit his second home run of the season, drilling the first pitch over the centerfield wall to set the score at 4-1
Canisius would add another run to their score in the top of the fifth after a solo blast by Christ Conley, but the Diamond 'Dogs would score twice in the sixth inning after a RBI single by Collin Thacker and a sacrifice fly by Paul Trick, and would score a run in the bottom of the seventh after a lead off solo home run by Chandler Redmond to pull within 5-4.
The Griffs would tack on two runs in both the eighth and ninth innings, and Redmond would hit another solo home run in the bottom of the ninth for GWU before falling by a 9-5 score.
Redmond would lead GWU at the plate, going 3-for-4 with two RBI and two home runs. Thacker also collected multiple hits, going 2-for-4 with one RBI.
J.P. Stevenson earned the win for Canisius, tossing 6.0 innings with one earned run allowed and two strikeouts. Jared Kennedy earned the save, hurling the last 3.0 innings with two earned runs allowed and three strikeouts.
Isacc Campbell took the loss for GWU, lasting 4.1 innings in his first collegiate start, allowing three earned runs while fanning two batters.
Gardner-Webb would take a 3-0 lead in the bottom of the third inning and not look back, holding on to take a 6-5 win in the nightcap.
Mason Fox hit a solo home run, his second of the season, with one away in the bottom of the third to break open the GWU offense, as Danny Sullivan hit an RBI double, followed by an RBI single from Collin Thacker to give the Runnin' Bulldogs a 3-0 lead.
Canisius would respond in the top half of the fourth with two runs off of a 2-RBI double by John Novenche, but the Runnin' Bulldogs would answer in the bottom of the frame, as Mickey Dugan would hit his second longball of the afternoon, third of the season, to add two more runs in GWU's favor at 5-2.
The Griffs would score twice in the top of the sixth, and the Diamond 'Dogs would once again answer in the bottom of the inning as Luke Kaesmeyer scored on a wild pitch.
In the ninth inning, Canisius would score one run with two outs to pull within one run of tying the game with runners on first and second. The Runnin' Bulldogs would bring in Fox from right field to close the game, ending the contest on one pitch to William Krull on a flyout to right field.
GWU was led by both Fox (2-for-4, RBI, HR, BB) and Chris Clary (2-for-3, BB) at the plate, each earning multiple hits.
Zach Mosay earned the win on the mound for the Diamond 'Dogs in his GWU debut, hurling 5.1 innings with one strikeout, while allowing four earned runs. Fox earned the first save of his collegiate career. Jarrett Thompson was effective for the 'Dogs in relief, tossing 3.1 innings with one strikeout, while only giving up three hits and one run.
Starter Nolan Hunt took the loss for Canisius, lasting 4.0 innings, while allowing five runs with five strikeouts.
The two teams will meet again tomorrow afternoon at 1:00 pm to wrap up the series at John Henry Moss Stadium. The game will be broadcast on the Big South Network (www.bigsouthsports.com).