BOILING SPRINGS, N.C. – The Presbyterian College baseball team (11-10, 0-1 Big South) dropped its conference opener to Gardner-Webb (20-5, 1-0 Big South) 14-0 on Thursday evening at John H. Moss Stadium in Boiling Springs, N.C. The two teams are back at it in game two of the series on Friday at 6 p.m.
Tyler Weyenberg extended his hitting streak to 16 games with a single in the fourth inning. He finished the game 2-for-3 to lead the team and record his 12th multi-hit game of the year to tie the team lead. Brett Auckland, Rob Koski and Nick Wise recorded a hit for the Blue Hose in the loss.
Gardner-Webb starter Brad Haymes (5-0) was stellar, tossing his third complete game of the season and allowing five hits with 12 strikeouts against one walk in the shutout victory. PC starter Brian Kehner (4-2) was tagged with the loss, allowing 10 runs (six earned) on 13 hits in 3.2 innings pitched. The defense struggled behind the Blue Hose pitchers, as just six of the 14 runs allowed on the night were earned.
Colin Thacker went 4-for-4 with two runs and two RBIs to lead Gardner-Webb at the plate. Patrick Graham was 3-for-4 with two runs and two RBIs, while Paul Trick also totaled three hits and Mason Fox drove in three runs. The hits came in bunches with just seven players accounting for the 14 hits.
Gardner-Webb used a five-run first inning to get out in front early. With two on and one out, the Big South’s leading RBI man, Thacker, singled to plate the first run of the game. Patrick Graham followed with a two-RBI triple to right center to push across two more. A fielder’s choice allowed one to come across and two batters later a single plated the fifth and final run of the inning.
The Runnin’ Bulldogs, who entered the game leading the Big South in a number of offensive categories, added a run in the second. Thacker doubled with two outs to drive in his second run of the game, after the leadoff man singled and moved to second on a groundout.
GWU plated four run in the bottom half of the fourth. The leadoff batter struck out but reached on a passed ball and later stole second. Danny Sullivan doubled to drive him in and make it a 7-0 game. The next three batters each singled to load the bases, after Weston Jackson nailed a runner at the plate, 9-2, to keep a runner off the board. Consecutive hits brought home all three runners to extend the lead to 10-0.
The Blue Hose looked poised to score in the top half of the sixth. Auckland and Weyenberg got back-to-back singles with one out, before a fly out to right allowed Auckland to move to third. A groundout to the pitcher ended the inning with the runners left on base.
The Runnin’ Bulldogs tacked on three runs in the sixth and one more in the seventh. An error followed by an RBI double and an RBI triple accounted for the runs in the sixth. In the seventh, an error plated a run with two outs.