CHARLESTON, S.C. – Gardner-Webb earned a 7-5 win over Charleston Southern on Saturday afternoon to take a key Big South Conference series.
Gardner-Webb improves to 18-17 overall and 7-5 in Big South play, while Charleston Southern falls to 17-18 overall and 6-9 in league play.
The Runnin' Bulldogs would strike first, plating three runs in the top of the third inning. Matt Simmons would lead off the frame with a single to right field, and would later score on a RBI single to left field by Mickey Dugan with two outs. Collin Thacker would plate Dugan on a single to right field, and Danny Sullivan would single up the middle of the field to score Justin Kunz, who reached via a walk earlier in the inning.
CSU would answer in the bottom half of the inning with a two-run home run by Nate Blanchard, setting the score at 3-2.
Kunz would give Gardner-Webb a 6-2 lead in the top of the fifth inning, sending the first pitch he saw well past the center field wall to plate three runs. It was the second home run of the season for Kunz.
The Buccaneers would trim one run off of their deficit in the bottom of the seventh inning on a solo home run to left field by Aaron Miller.
Gardner-Webb would respond in the top of the eighth inning with a solo home run deep in the trees in right field by Chandler Redmond, his eighth home run of the year.
Charleston Southern would threaten in the bottom of the ninth inning, scoring two runs on three base hits before Chris Singleton filed out to end the game, leaving two runners on base.
Landon Mitchell (4-2) earned the win on the mound for Gardner-Webb, hurling 5.1 innings, allowing two runs on eight hits. He fanned five batters and issued no walks. Wil Sellers tossed 3.0 innings in relief, allowing two runs on five hits with four strikeouts. Jarrett Thompson recorded the final two outs of the game to earn his second save of the season.
GWU had 11 base hits on the afternoon, with Dugan (3-for-5, RBI, 2-runs), Kunz (2-for-4, HR, 3-RBI, 2-runs), and Simmons (2-for-4, run) each collecting multiple hits.
Wil Hartsell (1-5) was saddled with the loss for Charleston Southern, lasting just 2.2 innings while allowing three runs on three hits with two strikeouts.
The Buccaneers totaled 14 base hits, with Aaron Miller (4-for-5, HR) leading the team.
The Runnin' Bulldogs return to Boiling Springs, N.C. for their next contest, opening a five-game home stand with a midweek battle against Western Carolina on Wednesday evening. The first pitch is set for 6:00 pm with live video on the Big South Network (www.bigsouthsports.com).