HIGH POINT, N.C. (www.BigSouthSports.com) - No. 4 Gardner-Webb scored four runs in the bottom the seventh to overtake No. 8 Charleston Southern and held on for a 4-3 victory in Game 5 of the 2012 Big South Baseball Championship presented by Brookwood Farms BBQ and Triangle Rent A Car at Williard Stadium on the campus of High Point University. The Runnin' Bulldogs improve to 31-27 and advance to play the loser of No. 1 Coastal Carolina-No. 5 Radford on Thursday at 3:00pm. Charleston Southern falls to 20-36 and is eliminated from the tournament.
CSU starter Charlie McCready held Gardner-Webb scoreless the first six innings, but got into trouble in the seventh when GWU took the lead with four runs in the frame to go ahead, 4-2. Brad Collins started the inning with a double and eventually moved to third when Scott Johnson reached on an error to put runners at the corners. Benji Jackson then doubled to the gap in left-center to score Collins and Johnson with the game-tying runs. Adam Tiller followed with a single up the middle to bring home Jackson with the go-ahead score to end McCready's day. Tiller eventually scored the fourth run of the inning on a bases loaded walk to Dusty Quattlebaum.
The visiting Buccaneers had taken a 1-0 lead in the second. Robbie Streett reached on an error by the shortstop and moved to third on Chase Shelton's single to right. After Alex Tomasovich flied out, Walt Quattlebaum singled to left to score Streett with the game's first run.
Charleston Southern moved ahead 2-0 in the fifth on Jaren Sustar's two-out triple that scored Bobby Ison, who had doubled the previous at-bat.
After GWU moved ahead, the Bucs fought back in the top of the ninth when Walt Quattlebaum hit a one-out solo home run to make it 4-3. The Runnin' Bulldogs turned the game over to Jeff Howell to get the final two outs, which he did with back-to-back strikeouts of pinch-hitter Blake Hunt and Drew Woodall to end the game.
GWU Reliever Mitch Warner earned his seventh win after tossing 3.1 innings with five strikeouts and allowing just one run after replacing starter Matt Fraudin. Howell earned his first save of the season.
McCready lasted 6.1 innings for the Bucs as he fell to 4-6. He gave up seven hits, four runs (two earned) and two walks while striking out five. Corey Dieghan entered in the eighth inning and got the last out. It was his 99th career appearance, tied for eighth all-time in Big South history.
Gardner-Webb Head Coach Rusty Stroupe
"We didn't play a great game today, but we had a big inning when we needed it. Charleston Southern played well considering their tough loss yesterday [to top-seed Coastal Carolina]. Coach Lake has a great program."
Charleston Southern Head Coach Stuart Lake
"Our kids played hard. Unfortunately we came out on the wrong end for the second day in a row."