BOILING SPRINGS, N.C. – Senior Derek Smith had two runs and two RBI to lead the CSU baseball team to a 6-3 win over the Gardner-Webb Runnin’ Bulldogs on Saturday, giving the Bucs the 2-1 series win on Sunday afternoon at Moss Stadium in Boiling Springs, N.C.
The Bucs (19-16, 7-5) claimed their third Big South series of the season, as they previously swept Radford and took a 2-1 series against UNC Asheville. They will host cross-town rival the College of Charleston in a nonconference matchup at CSU Ballpark on Tuesday at 3 p.m.
Smith went 3-for-5 on the day, including a solo home run. Fellow senior Matt Still was 2-for-4 with a run and two RBI, while Brantley Meier had three hits and also crossed home plate. CSU had 14 hits on the day.
Jesse Cadenhead got the start for the Bucs, giving up three runs off of eight hits in 4.2 innings while striking out four GWU batters. Charlie McCready pitched 1.1 innings without surrendering a run, picking up his fourth win of the season while continuing to lead the nation in ERA. Ali Williams got the save, holding GWU hitless and striking out one in 1.1 innings.
Adam McFarland was 2-for-3 with a run for the Bulldogs, while Brad Collins going 2-for-4 with a run and an RBI. Aaron Miller was 1-of-4 and also made it across home plate. Kyle Paeplow gave up four runs and six hits, striking out two in 3.0 innings to take the loss.
Neither team got on the board in the first inning. Smith singled to right field in the first at bat of the second inning before making it home when Still doubled to centerfield to put the Bucs on the board at 1-0.
GWU followed suit in the bottom of the inning, as McFarland singled to right field to get on base. Collins doubled to left center, scoring McFarland to tie the game at 1-1 after two innings.
CSU started off the top of the fourth with a solo homer by Smith, his seventh of the season to put the Bucs ahead once again at 2-1. Jaren Sustar, Walt Quattlebaum and Still all singled for the Bucs, with Still driving home Sustar to pad the CSU lead at 3-1. Quattlebaum made it home on a sac fly by Drew Woodall to give the Bucs the 4-1 lead before Still was able to cross home plate on a passed ball as the Bucs took a 5-1 advantage.
Collins singled for Gardner-Webb in the bottom of the fifth before making it home when Scott Coleman singled to centerfield, putting the score at 5-2. Derek Merck then singled to right field to score Miller and cut the deficit to 5-3.
However, the Bucs weren’t about to let the Runnin’ Bulldogs make a comeback. Meier singled up the middle to start off the seventh inning before Smith singled to right field to send him home for CSU’s sixth run of the day. The Bucs’ pitching staff combined to hold GWU scoreless in the last four innings, ensuring that CSU would take the 6-3 victory to win the series two games to one.Related Item: Box Score