No. 4 Gardner-Webb Eliminates No. 5 Radford, 11-0
HIGH POINT, N.C. (www.BigSouthSports.com) - Dusty Quattlebaum hit two home runs and Beau Hilton pitched a complete game four-hitter in leading No. 4 Gardner-Webb past No. 5 Radford, 11-0, in Game 9 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 32-27 and will play No. 3 Liberty in the semifinals on Friday morning at 10:00am. Radford falls to 29-28-1 and is eliminated from the tournament.
Hilton and Radford starter Tyler Costello matched zeroes the first three innings. Hilton allowed one hit in the span, while Costello permitted two hits. Gardner-Webb threatened in the bottom of the first by loading the bases when Adam McFarland singled with one out, John Harris was hit-by-pitch and Scott Coleman singled to right. But Costello got Quattlebaum to fly out to shallow left field and struck out Brad Collins to get out of the jam.
The Runnin' Bulldogs eventually took a 3-0 lead in the bottom of the fourth. Coleman walked and moved to second on Quattlebaum's fielder's choice. Collins advanced both runners with a sacrifice, and Ryan Hodge was intentionally walked to load the bases. Scott Johnson then doubled down the left field line to plate Coleman and Quattlebaum, and Will Canady's groundout brought home Hodge.
Quattlebaum made it 5-0 in the bottom of the fifth with a two-run home run to center that scored McFarland. Gardner-Webb tallied another three runs in the bottom of the sixth on a run-scoring single from Johnson and a two-run double from Benji Jackson that pushed its lead to 8-0.
Quattlebaum's second blast of the day was a two-run shot that made it 11-0 in the eighth. It was his third homer of the tournament (fourth career tournament home run) and 10th of the season.
Meanwhile, Hilton scattered four hits and three walks in his first career complete game. He struck out three batters in picking up his seventh win of the season. Quattlebaum finished with three this and four RBI. McFarland also had three hits and Johnson tallied three RBI. GWU's 16 hits tied its previous best in a Big South tournament game.
Costello (7-3) allowed eight hits and eight runs in five innings on the mound. He walked two and struck out two. Brett Mollenhauer had two of Radford's four hits -- his fourth-straight multi-hit game in the tournament.
With Liberty blanking Campbell 7-0 in the first contests of the day, this marks the first time in the history of the Big South postseason that back-to-back tournament games resulted in shutouts.
Gardner-Webb Head Coach Rusty Stroupe
"I'm very proud of our effort overall today, but for Beau [Hilton] to go out and throw a complete-game four-hitter, wow. How can you ask anything more out of a freshman, especially when we needed to save our bullpen. You couldn't ask for anything more, and we supported him with some big hits.
"I have mixed emotions seeing all of those seniors for Radford play in their final game. I'm really going to miss playing against those guys, but they are so talented a part of me is happy not to have to play them anymore. I said so to the [seniors] I could get to after the game. A big part of me will miss competing against that group, they're a class bunch."
Radford Head Coach Joe Raccuia
"It was a tough way to end the year. We didn't reach our goals. But you can't duplicate what our senior class has done - they've been great and it's a group that I'll miss sorely."