April 25, 2014
BOILING SPRINGS, N.C. - A bad hop single and error in the ninth inning led to five Gardner-Webb runs as the Bulldogs completed a 7-6 come-from-behind victory versus Coastal Carolina Friday evening at Moss Stadium.
Gardner-Webb improves to 18-22, 8-10 in the Big South, while Coastal falls to 21-22, 11-8. The teams will play game two of the three-game set on Saturday at 2 pm.
In the bottom of the ninth and down 6-2, the Bulldogs rally started innocently enough as Coastal relief pitcher Brock Hunter recorded a strikeout. Scott Johnson then doubled and moved to third on Ryan Hodge's single. Andrew Beckwith (3-2) came out the CCU bullpen and got Henry Rundio to hit a ground ball for a potential game-ending double play, but a bad hop allowed the ball to get through the infield for an RBI single. With runners on first and second, Taylor Fisher attempted a sacrifice but reached first base on a fielder's choice as the play at third resulted in an error to load the bases. Hunter Smith delivered a two-run single to give GWU the win with a walk-off, RBI double to the right field corner.
The loss spoiled two outstanding performances by Coastal Carolina's battery. Pitcher Tyler Herb pitched eight solid innings and was in line to give CCU's its eighth straight win with him on the mound. He allowed six hits, two runs and one walk while striking out a season-high eight Bulldogs. Catcher Tyler Chadwick went 3-for-5 at the plate with two RBI while hitting his first career home run.
The Chanticleers grabbed the early advantage. Colin Hering drew a leadoff walk to start the third inning and was safe at second thanks to an error on Connor Owings' ground ball. Michael Paez followed with a single to load the bases. Chadwick brought home Hering with a single to right and kept the bases loaded. Jake Kane, who had missed the 18 of the last 19 games due to injury, lined a two-run single to center field for a 3-0 lead.
Coastal took a 5-0 lead with two runs in the fifth inning. Owings manufactured a run by getting an infield single, taking second on a wild pitch, moving to third on a sacrifice bunt and scored on a wild pitch. Chadwick deposited the next pitch over the right field fence.
The Chants took advantage of another Bulldog miscue to score a run in the seventh to go up 6-0. Chadwick singled and stole second. On the play, a throwing error allowed Chadwick to advance to third. Zach Remillard's fly ball to left field was deep enough to score Chadwick.
Gardner-Webb began its rally in the eighth. Fisher, who entered as a pinch hitter, started the home half by being hit by a pitch. He stole second and scored on an RBI double from Hunter Smith. A ground out moved Smith to third and pinch hitter Jacob Walker came through with an RBI single to make the score 6-2.
Jeremy Walker (3-0) got the win. He retired all six batters he faced over the eighth and ninth innings. GWU starter Matt Fraudin left after five innings, allowing five hits and five runs (two earned) with seven strikeouts. CCU freshman Beckwith was saddled with the loss, allowing three hits, three runs (two earned) and walk.