CHARLESTON, S.C. – Asheville's Carmine Pagano two-run double in the eighth inning helped break open a one-run game and send the Bulldogs to a 7-1 win over Charleston Southern on Friday night at CSU Ballpark.
The Bulldogs scored a run in the seventh to break a 1-1 tie and added three insurance runs in the eighth to distance themselves from CSU in what was a pitchers' duel for seven innings.
Asheville scored six runs off the CSU bullpen and spoiled a solid start by Evan Raynor, who worked 6.0 innings and had a season-high 10 strikeouts. Four CSU pitchers combined for a season-high 13 strikeouts.
Asheville improves to 11-24 overall and 3-7 in the Big South. CSU falls to 14-20 and 2-8 in league play. The start was delayed by an hour by rain.
Asheville nabbed a 1-0 lead in the second on a leadoff walk and RBI single by Dan Connolly to score Joe Tietjen with the first run of the game.
CSU threatened in the second on a single by Kevin Hickey and an error by the Bulldogs, but third baseman Carmine Pagano's diving stop of a would-be Cole Murphy single saved a run as the Bulldogs threw out Hickey at the plate.
Asheville moved ahead again with a run in the seventh. Kyle Carruthers drew a leadoff walk from reliever Chayce Hubbard (L, 0-2) and scored on a wild pitch to give the Bulldogs a 2-1 edge. Asheville added three runs in the eighth off of reliever Wil Hartsell, who surrendered his first runs of the season.
The Bucs loaded the bases in the eighth, but Asheville starter Jordan Fulbright (W, 3-3) struck out Sly Edwards to end the threat. Fulbright held CSU to four singles and an earned run in 8.0 innings.
Edwards saw his school record 33-game reached base streak come to an end in the loss.
Lucas Owens was 3-for-5 for Asheville with an RBI.
Hickey finished 2-for-4 for the Bucs.
The teams meet again on Saturday at 4 p.m.