BOILING SPRINGS, N.C. – Presbyterian College starter Tanner Chock pitched a shutout in the first complete game of his career to lead PC to the 3-0 victory over Gardner-Webb on Friday night at John H. Moss Stadium in Boiling Springs, N.C.
PC improves to 12-10 on the season with a 1-1 Big South mark, while the Bulldogs fall to 20-6 and 1-1 in the Big South. The two teams will play the rubber match of the series on Saturday afternoon at 2 p.m.
Chock (1-2) turned in his best start of the season, allowing just two hits with no walks and seven strikeouts on just 87 pitches. It was the first shutout by a single PC pitcher since April 11, 2014 when Aaron Lesiak threw a shutout against Winthrop in a 6-0 PC victory. Gardner-Webb starter Jeremy Walker (4-2) suffered the loss in a complete-game performance, allowing three runs on 11 hits with one walk against six strikeouts.
Cletis Avery led the Blue Hose at the plate, going 2-for-3 with a run and an RBI in the victory. AJ Priaulx had two hits for his fifth multi-hit game of the season, while Rob Koski drove in two of the three PC runs in the game. Tyler Weyenberg singled in the eighth to extend his hitting streak to 17 games, which ties for the longest hitting streak in PC’s Division I era. PC got at least one hit from eight of the nine batters in the starting lineup.
The two pitchers worked the game to a scoreless tie through six innings with two runners reaching base at any one time just once. Chock retired eight of the first nine batters in the game with just two of the first 18 batters reaching base for the Runnin’ Bulldogs. The Blue Hose got two on in the first inning but would have just one reach over the next five frames against Walker.
PC got the only runs of the game with three runs in the top of the seventh. The Blue Hose loaded the bases with back-to-back-to-back singles from Priaulx, Jacob Midkiff and Nick Wise. A few pitches later, Priaulx was erased 2-1 attempting to score on a wild pitch but Midkiff and Wise advanced 90 feet on the play. Avery took advantage and drove in the game’s first run with a single through the right side. Avery promptly stole second and Koski came through with the big blow, a single up the middle that plated two runs to give PC the 3-0 lead.
Chock responded with a shutdown inning in the bottom half of the seventh, retiring the side in order with a pair of pop outs and a groundout. He allowed a leadoff single in the top half of the eight but went on to retire the next six hitters he faced in order. He needed just six pitches to retire the side in the ninth, getting a pop out, a strikeout and a groundout to seal the victory.
It was the second time this season that the Blue Hose held its opponent to just two hits. PC kept La Salle to just two hits on March 5 in a 6-0 victory. Patrick Graham and Justin Kunz managed the two hits for Gardner-Webb against Chock.