CSU’s season ends with win over Gardner-Webb
BOILING SPRINGS, N.C. – Gardner-Webb saw a late lead erased on Saturday afternoon and fell 8-4 to Charleston Southern in its regular season finale.
The Runnin’ Bulldogs (31-23, 15-12 Big South) will await the result of Saturday’s Winthrop-Longwood contest to determine seeding. GWU would finish third with a Winthrop loss and fourth if the Eagles prevail on the road.
Gardner-Webb scored a pair in the first inning on Saturday, getting an RBI single with two men on from Nate Anderson and another run when Trevor Mattson dashed home on a designed delayed steal play.
A deep solo home run from Mark Black in the third inning pushed the lead to 3-0. It was Black’s third home run of the weekend, with all three flying out of the park in left field.
Charleston Southern got a run back in the top of the fifth, trimming the lead to 3-1 on a safety squeeze bunt.
The Buccaneers scored twice in the top of the sixth to tie the game, and Gardner-Webb stranded three men in the bottom half of the sixth as the score remained tied.
Gardner-Webb pushed back in front in the bottom of the seventh, with Nate Anderson blasting a solo home run to right center for a 4-3 lead. Charleston Southern kept the deficit at one, and made another move in the top of the eighth.
A leadoff walk and a bunt single put the go ahead run on for the Bucs and a sacrifice bunt quickly put both in scoring position with one out. An intentional walk loaded the bases and a wild pitch allowed the Buccaneers to tie the score.
A hit batter restocked the bags and a grand slam by Chandler Tuupo quickly changed the trajectory of the game. It was Charleston Southern’s first lead of the series.
Gardner-Webb did not reach base in the eighth and Charleston Southern loaded the bases again in the top of the ninth – and pushed a run across on a walk to go up 9-4. An infield single by Tuupo pushed the lead to 10-4. Another infield single pushed the lead to 11-4 before GWU could get out of the jam.
Evan Truitt (5-6) picked up the win in relief, tossing 6.2 innings and allowing just one run on four hits. He walked four, hit three and struck out seven in the win.
The Buccaneers had nine hits, with Tuupo (2-for-5, HR, 5 RBI) the main weapon.
Dalton Wood (1-3) was tagged with the loss in relief for Gardner-Webb, allowing three runs on just one hit in 0.1 innings of work. Joe Micelli pitched well in a quality start, earning a no decision after allowing three runs on four hits in 6.0 innings. Micelli struck out four batters.
Gardner-Webb had eighth hits in the game, but stranded 13 runners. Black (2-for-5, HR, RBI), Anderson (2-for-3, HR, RBI) and Capobianco (2-for-4) led the way on offense for the ‘Dogs.
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