Tuupo Homers Twice; Pitching Dominates as Bucs Take Big South Opener
CHARLESTON, S.C. – Charleston Southern opened the 2023 Big South campaign with a win Friday night, scoring in every inning but two en route to topping UNC Asheville 8-2.
Charleston Southern (9-10, 1-0 Big South) got things started early and it came on one swing as Chandler Tuupo left the yard with a two-run shot to left center as Ashton Wilson came around as well and Charleston Southern took the 2-0 lead.
Wilson’s name would be called on in the next frame as he would single home Sam Low to make the advantage 3-0 in favor of the Bucs. The third frame saw CSU score again, as Ike George stole second and third before coming around to score on a passed ball.
UNC Asheville (12-5, 0-1 Big South) scored their lone runs of the game in the fourth frame as Tylan Reece left the yard for a two-run shot to avoid, but that would be all the Bulldogs would get the rest of the way.
The Bucs would answer with a big fly of their own in the same frame, as Low would take a fastball out to center for a solo shot and double-up UNC Asheville 4-2. The fifth frame saw yet another home run for Charleston Southern as Tuupo hit his second two-run shot of the contest to blow things open.
Casey Asman would be called on in the seventh inning in a pinch-hit situation with Wilson in scoring position and he answered the call with a single to center to easily score Wilson.
Zac Robinson (3-1) gets the win for Charleston Southern after coming on in in the fourth and giving up two earned on one hit and three walks while also punching out four. Sam Massey had an incredible start for the Bucs, tossing three innings of one-hit baseball while collecting three punchies. Kaleb Hill was called on to get the final seven outs and he did just that, striking out five and not surrendering a baserunner.
Clay Edmondson (L, 4-1) takes his first loss on the year for UNC Asheville, surrendering four earned on nine hits and a walk while striking out two in 4.1 innings of work. Cole Bates recorded eighth outs in relief, giving up just one earned on two hits. Branden Barna collected the final three outs in a clean eighth.
Charleston Southern continues the three-game set with UNC Asheville with the second installment. First pitch is slated for 2:00 p.m. at Nielsen Field.
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