Radford, Coastal, High Point, Campbell, Liberty, CSU Win Friday


Radford right-handed starter Eddie Butler pitched his second complete game in a row and second career shutout to lift the Highlanders in a 1-0 win over Fairleigh Dickinson in the opener of a non-conference series on Friday night.

Butler (3-3) surrendered only five hits, struck out eight and gave up three walks in his winning effort for Radford (19-15) - he only needed 1:38 to finish the game.

The Highlander offense was lead by Jeff Kemp, who went 2-for-3 and scored the game's only run, when he led the fourth inning off with his Big South-leading sixth triple of the season down the right field line.  During the next at-bat, Matt Hillsinger drove in Kemp with a sacrifice fly to right field.

Fairleigh Dickinson starter Craig Warner (1-3) pitched well in a losing effort.  He worked six innings, allowed only three hits against Radford and struck out two.  Warner made 63 pitches and induced 11 fly ball outs for the Knights (15-15-1).

Butler ran into trouble in the third, but stranded the bases loaded.  The Knights threatened in the sixth when Ryan Kresky and Kyle Weeks singled to put runners at first and second with one down.  However, Butler battled back and struck out the final two batters of the inning.

The Highlanders will face Fairleigh Dickinson for game two in their weekend series on Saturday at 4 p.m.

On a day when Coastal Carolina catcher Tucker Frawley was named to the prestigious Johnny Bench Award Watch List, the senior went 3-for-4 with an RBI and threw out two base runners to help the Chanticleers defeat VMI, 3-2, Friday night.

Coastal (22-11, 5-2 Big South) improves to 20-7 in Big South home openers and has won 14 straight over the Keydets (11-23, 4-9).

Frawley is the third Chanticleer to make the Johnny Bench Award Watch List, given annually to the nation's top collegiate catcher by the Greater Wichita Area Sports Commission.  Previous CCU honorees Dock Doyle and Jose Iglesias were one of three finalists for the award in 2008 and 2010, respectively.

While Frawley was producing at the plate, Josh Conway (4-1) was in the midst of a tight pitching duel with VMI's Jeremy Brown (0-5).  Also, not to lost in the shuffle, Coastal's Daniel Bowman delivered what proved to be the game-winning RBI in the second inning, which gave the senior 187 career RBI to take sole possession of first place on the school's all-time list.

Coastal Carolina began the scoring as it loaded the bases with one out in the bottom of the first as Alex Buccilli singled, Bowman reached on an error and Rich Witten singled.  Frawley followed with an RBI single to right, keeping the bases loaded.  Ted Blackman gave Coastal a 2-0 lead with a sacrifice fly to left field.  Buccilli and Bowman both finished the night with two hits.

In the second, Brian Pruett had a leadoff double and Jacob May walked.  Two batters later and with two outs, Bowman hit a bloop single to center to drive home Pruett to give CCU a 3-0 advantage and sit Bowman atop the school's RBI leaderboard by himself.

From that point, VMI's Brown did not allow another run, but it was all CCU would need. Conway faced the minimum batters through 2.2 innings before loading the bases with two singles and a walk.

After leaving the bases loaded in the third, VMI broke through with two runs in the fourth inning to make the score 3-2.  Jacob Morley and Berkley Hawkins had leadoff singles.  After a strikeout, Cameron Walter executed a hit-and-run, driving in Morley and putting runners on first and third.  Matt Winn followed with a ground out.  Coastal attempted to turn a double play, but only got one out allowing Hawkins to score on the play.

Conway would then settle down and face the minimum amount of batter over his last three innings pitched.  He would surrender a leadoff walk in the fifth, but Frawley gunned him on a steal attempt, and a walk in the seventh, but he would be erased on a double play.

Overall, Conway allowed five hits, two runs and four walks over seven complete while tying a season high with 10 strikeouts.

In the eighth, VMI leadoff hitter Rob Dickinson started the frame with a single off Austin Kerr, but Dickinson would be erased by Frawley on a steal attempt.  Aaron Burke then came out the bullpen and worked the final two innings to pick up his sixth save of the season.  He did not allow a hit with a walk and two strikeouts.

Brown, who struck out eight, was the tough-luck loser.  He scattered nine hits and walked just one, with only one of his three runs being earned.  Dickinson and Morley both had two hits for the Keydets.

Game two of the weekend series is set for 3:30 pm Saturday.  The final game of the series is set for 2 pm on Sunday and the contest will be nationally telecast by ESPNU.

A three-run eighth inning, as well an 8-2 double play in the top of the ninth gave the Charleston Southern Buccaneers the 4-3 win over Gardner-Webb in Big South Conference action on Friday afternoon at CSU Ballpark. 

Denis Buckley (1-0) struck out two batters to earn his first decision of the season.  Big South Pitcher of the Week Zach Hagaman, who is coming off of a three-win week last week, also recorded a strikeout in picking up his first save of the season.  Ryan Gunther got the start for the Bucs, giving up three runs (two earned) on five hits with four strikeouts. 

Bobby Ison went 3-for-4 with two RBI and made the catch in center field before sending it to Drew Woodall at home plate for the double-play to end the game.  Designated hitter Walt Quattlebaum was 2-for-3 with a home run.  

Jeff Howell took the loss for GWU, dropping to 1-3 on the season.  He gave up two runs off two hits on the two batters he faced. 

Scott Coleman homered to left field in the top of the second to put the Runnin' Bulldogs up 1-0 early on.  The Bucs had no answer, going three up three down in the bottom of the inning.

GWU added more in the top of the third, as Ryan Hodge singled through the left side kick things off.  He then advanced to second on a CSU throwing error before taking third on a wild pitch.  Dusty Quattlebaum walked, then stole second as Hodge stole home to put the score at 2-0.  Quattlebaum headed to third on another CSU error before a Coleman single scored Quattlebaum as Gardner-Webb took a 3-0 lead.

Jaren Sustar singled to third in the bottom of the fourth before scoring on a sacrifice fly by Alex Tomasovich to put the Bucs on the board down 3-1. 

With two outs on the board in the bottom of the eighth, Walt Quattlebaum homered to left center for his second of the season.  Nick Berry, Blake Hunt and Robbie Street followed him with consecutive base hits to load the bases.  Ison then singled up the middle to score Berry and Hunt as the Bucs took the 4-3 lead. 

Hodge and Scott Johnson each collected a base hit in the top of the ninth, with Zeke Blanton fouling out to the catcher in between for the first out of the inning.  John Harris took first after being hit by a pitch, but Ison was able to make a stellar throw after catching Dusty Quattlebaum fly ball to turn it into a double play and get the out at home plate to end the game. 

The Bucs and the Runnin' Bulldogs will square off again on Saturday.  First pitch is slated for 2 p.m. at CSU Ballpark. 

Pitcher John Niggli tossed eight scoreless innings, leading the Liberty Flames past the Winthrop Eagles, 7-0, in a Big South contest, Friday evening at the Winthrop Ballpark.

Niggli runs his record to 7-0 on the season.  The right-hander pitched eight scoreless innings, scattering five hits.  The senior struck out five batters and walked one.  Niggli combined with Jacob Kemmerer, who pitched a scoreless ninth, to record Liberty's school-record ninth shutout of the year.

Liberty moves to 8-2 in the Big South Conference and 29-8 overall.  The game was the first of a season-long nine-game road trip for the Flames.  Winthrop drops to 4-6 in conference and 11-24 overall.

Liberty jumped onto the scoreboard in the top of the second inning.  The Flames opened the inning by loading the bases, as the first three hitters of the frame reached.  Trey Wimmer followed by lining a bases-clearing double into left field corner for a 3-0 Liberty edge.

Third baseman Dalton Sype, the next batter, plated Wimmer with a single back through the middle to give the Flames a 4-0 advantage.

After Niggli retired eight straight batters, Winthrop center fielder Chas Crane began the bottom of the fifth with a single to right center field.  Later in the inning, the Eagles loaded the bases with two out.  However, the starter ended the scoring threat by getting the next batter to bounce out to first baseman Alex Close to close the inning.

The Flames added insurance runs in the top of the ninth.  Right fielder Ryan Cordell ripped a double into the left field corner to lead off the inning.  After moving to third base on a sacrifice bunt by Wimmer, Cordell scored on a squeeze bunt by Sype, upping Liberty's lead to what proved to be the final score of 5-0.  Later in the inning, shortstop Zack Haley lined a two-run double off the top of the left-center field wall with two Flames aboard for what proved to be the final score of 7-0.

Winthrop starter Matt Pierpont falls to 3-6 on the year.  The right-hander gave up five runs on 11 hits.  He struck out a career-high 10 batters and walked one.

Liberty collected 12 hits in the contest.  Cordell and Sype had three hits apiece for the Flames.  Winthrop had five in the game.

The Flames and the Eagles will meet again tomorrow at Winthrop Ballpark.  Game time is scheduled for 3 p.m.

Junior Ryan Retz pitched his second complete game of the season as the High Point University baseball team picked up a 5-1 Big South win over Presbyterian College Friday night at Williard Stadium.

Retz allowed one run on three hits with three walks and four strikeouts for his fourth consecutive win.  He improves to 6-2 on the season and a perfect 4-0 in Big South play.  It is his second complete game of the season after he tossed one against VMI two weeks ago.

High Point moves to 22-14 on the season and 7-3 in Big South action.  Presbyterian College is 14-21 overall and 2-8 in league play.

Retz cruised through the first five innings, allowing only one hit and striking out three.  With two outs, Jay Lizanich struck out swinging but reached first on a passed ball.  He was later thrown out attempting to steal second by catcher Josh Spano to end the inning.

The Panthers got on the board in the bottom of the first after a Sal Pezzino double to left centerfield with no outs and scored Sean Wilson and Willie Medina.

PC pushed across its first run in the sixth after Andrew Williams doubled off the right field wall on the first pitch he saw from Retz and scored on a sacrifice fly off the bat of Billy Motroni.  Retz retired three straight batters after the double to minimize any further damage.

High Point responded with runs of their own in the seventh.  Devin Bujnovsky knocked a leadoff double off the right centerfield wall and moved to third on a sacrifice bunt by Spano.  Mike Miedzianowski laid a safety squeeze bunt down the first base line to plate Bujnovksy and came around to score on a double by Dane McDermott to push the lead to 4-1.

Presbyterian starter Bud Jeter went 6-1/3 innings yielding four earned runs on five hits, walking two and striking out three.  His record drops to 2-6 with the loss.

The Panthers will go for the series win on Saturday at 6 p.m.

Campbell rallied from a 3-0 deficit, scoring two runs in both the fifth and sixth innings to defeat UNC Asheville 4-3 in Friday's series opener.  Matt Sergey moved to 4-0 on the mound this season, earning the win after scattering six hits and three runs in seven innings of work.

UNC Asheville opened the scoring in the second inning, leading off the frame with two base hits.  Hunter Bryant scored on a fielder's choice when he beat out a throw to the plate with no outs to give the Bulldogs a 1-0 lead.  Sergey got out of the jam with a strikeout and a lineout that the Camels turned into a double play after picking off Aaron Wright at second base.

The Bulldogs added another run in the third inning, securing a two-out single from Eli Miller before an RBI triple from Patrick Koontz gave the visitors a 2-0 advantage.  The final Bulldog run of the evening came in the fifth inning when Jordan Lurie's RBI single plated Cody Buch and extended the UNC Asheville advantage to 3-0.

The Fighting Camels broke into the scoring column in the bottom half of the fifth inning, scoring twice on just one hit off Asheville starter Dean Roland.  Following Nick Ray's leadoff single, Bryce Grady reached base off a base on balls.  After recording a strikeout, Roland then hit the next three Camel batters to score Ray and Grady and bring Campbell within a run at 3-2.  Roland regained his control and induced two fly-outs to leave the bases loaded.

Campbell scored two more runs in the sixth inning, again on only one hit.  Olson was hit by a pitch to leadoff the frame, the fourth hit batsman of the game for Roland.  Ray then singled through the left side, part of his 2-for-4 night as the only CU batter with multiple hits.  Olson scored on a sacrifice fly from Grady and Ray came to the plate as the eventual winning run on an RBI fielder's choice groundout by Ben Fish.

Roland (4-4) allowed just four hits during his eight innings on the mound for UNC Asheville in the losing effort.  He struck out three batters and walked one in addition to his four hit batsmen.

Asheville threatened during Sergey's final inning on the mound in the seventh, putting two runners on base with one out.  Ben McQuown made a diving grab in shallow centerfield that preserved the one-run lead and took a sure hit away from Lurie.

Michael Felton saw a 14-game hitting streak come to an end during the game, but also contributed to the defensive effort in converting the save.  Felton's diving stop on a chopper up the middle allowed him to throw out the Asheville leadoff batter at first base and cease any hope of a Bulldog rally in the eighth inning.

Sergey struck out three Bulldog batters in his seven innings of work before giving way to Ryan Mattes, who retired all six batters he faced over the final two innings to pick up his third save of the season.  Mattes struck out three batters, including the game-ending strikeout of Adkins.

Campbell improves to 29-7 overall, 7-3 in league play.  UNC Asheville falls to 16-20, 5-8 in the Big South.  The two teams will meet on Saturday afternoon for a doubleheader, with Game 1 set to get underway at 1 p.m.