Gardner-Webb Outlasts Western Carolina, 15-13, in Midweek Slugfest

Gage Parham (Tim Cowie Photo)
Gage Parham (Tim Cowie Photo)

CULLOWHEE, N.C. – Gardner-Webb had season-highs in runs and hits on Wednesday evening, holding Western Carolina scoreless over the final four innings to hold on for a 15-13 win.

Gardner-Webb (10-12) had 17 base hits, including six extra base hits on the evening, while Western Carolina (8-12) collected 18 base knocks, with five extra base hits. 

Both teams did all of their scoring in the first five innings of play, with neither being able to produce any offense over the final four frames.

The Runnin' Bulldogs got off to a quick start, leading off the top of the first inning with back-to-back singled by Paul Trick and Mickey Dugan

Collin Thacker would step up with one away, hitting a base knock through the left side to plate Trick, followed by a base hit to right field by Danny Sullivan to score Dugan to give GWU an early 2-0 advantage.

The Diamond 'Dogs would put more runs on the board in the top of the second inning as Dugan would send the first pitch of his at-bat sailing over the left field wall, driving in three runs to expand the lead to 5-0.

It was the fourth home run of the season for Dugan, tying him for the most on the year for the team with Chandler Redmond

Western Carolina would answer in the bottom of the second, as their first base hit of the game was a solo home run sent well past the left field wall by Caleb Robinson.

The Catamounts would follow that with two base hits to put runners on the corners for Cameron Blaquiere, who would single through the left side to drive in one run. 

WCU would add one more run in the frame on a wild pitch to pull within two runs at 5-3.

Gardner-Webb added an additional run in the top of the third after a double by Gage Parham drove in Jacob Whitley, pushing the lead to 6-3.

Matt Smith would hit a two-run home run off of the scoreboard just to the right of center field to pull Western Carolina within one run at 6-5 in the bottom half of the inning.

The Runnin' Bulldogs would tack on seven runs in the top of the fourth inning to go up by a 13-5 margin.  Thacker would drive in three runs on a deep home run to left field, his second long ball of the season.  That was followed by three straight walks to load the bases for Parham, who would single to left field to plate two runs. A wild pitch would score Whitley and a RBI double by Trick would conclude the scoring for GWU in the frame.

The Catamounts would score once in the bottom of the fourth on a RBI single up the middle by Bryson Bowman.

GWU scored twice in the top half of the fifth on a RBI single up the middle by Redmond and a RBI double by Parham to set the score at 15-6.

WCU would answer in the bottom of the fifth, plating seven runs on five base hits in the half inning to pull within two runs at 15-13.

Taylor Goodwin earned his first collegiate victory for GWU, tossing 1.1 innings in relief with one strikeout while allowing no runs or hits.  Starter Landon Mitchell lasted 3.0 innings, striking out one batter while allowing five runs on seven hits.  Wil Sellers earned his second save of the season, tossing the ninth, allowing no hits with two strikeouts. 

Dillon Bray took the loss for Western Carolina, lasting 3.0 innings with four strikeouts, giving up six runs on seven base hits. 

Parham led the Runnin' Bulldogs at the plate, going 5-for-5 with two doubles, driving in four runs and scoring twice.  Also collecting multiple hits for GWU were Trick (2-for-4, 2B, RBI, 2 runs), Dugan (4-for-6, HR, 3 RBI, 3 runs), and Thacker (4-for-6, HR, 4 RBI, run).

WCU had seven players with multiple base hits, led by Smith (3-for-5, 2B, HR, 5 RBI, 2 runs) and Blaquiere (3-for-5, 2B, 2 RBI, run).

Gardner-Webb returns home for its next contest, opening Big South Conference play by hosting Campbell on Friday night at 6:00 pm.  Live video of the contest can be seen on the Big South Network (www.bigsouthsports.com).

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