Gardner-Webb scored eight runs in the first inning and six more on the sixth to break open a wild game and hand Charleston Southern an 18-7 loss on Saturday night at CSU Ballpark. The win evens the Big South series at a 1-1.
The Bulldogs rode a strong wind - blowing straight out of CSU Ballpark for the second night in a row - to pile up 18 hits. J.J. Nazzaro hit two home runs and finished with five RBI. First baseman Scott Coleman added a 3-for-6 night and also had two RBI.
Reliever Mitch Warner (WP, 1-2) worked 5 1/3 innings of solid relief. He held CSU to two hits and no runs after the Bucs piled up six runs in their first two at-bats.
The Bulldogs jumped on the Bucs from the start. Lead off man J.J. Nazzaro reached on an error to open the game and GWU started piling up extra-base hits. DH Matt Simmons had a two-run triple and Nazzaro capped the big inning with a two-run home run to give Gardner-Webb an early 8-0.
CSU would erase almost all of the Bulldogs’ lead in their next two at-bats.
Junior Bobby Ison homered in his first two at-bats, beginning with a solo shot in the first, his second of the year. He plated the Bucs next three runs with a three-run shot to almost the exact same spot in right field to cut the lead to 8-4. He finished with four RBI.
The Bucs’ put together back-to-back home runs as junior Andrew Widell followed Ison, connecting on a solo home run to left center to cut the lead to 8-5. CSU would cut the lead to two on an RBI single by Nick Berry, but could get no closer.
First baseman Scott Coleman had a two-run home run as part of the six runs in the sixth for the Bulldogs as G-W extended its lead to 16-6.
Starter Levi Mauldin (LP, 3-2) took the loss giving up five hits and eight runs, but only four earned.
Left fielder Brian Welch went 3-for-4 for the Bucs and scored a run, while Widell and Alex Tomasovich each had two hits.
The teams play the rubber game of the series on Sunday at 2 p.m. at CSU Ballpark.