Bucs' bullpen saves series finale against Asheville, 9-7

Bucs' bullpen saves series finale against Asheville, 9-7
CHARLESTON, S.C. - Evan Nations survived a five-run fifth to earn his first win of the season, and the Charleston Southern bullpen tossed four shutout innings to lead the Buccaneers to a 9-7 victory over UNC Asheville to take the final game of the Big South series. 

Nations was backed by a 14-hit attack that was spearheaded by the top of the CSU (15-21, 3-9 Big South) order, with the quartet of Nate Blanchard, Brandon Burris, Sly Edwards and Chris Singleton combining to go 9 for 16 with five runs scored and eight RBI.  

Singleton had three hits including a pair of doubles and drove in four runs, Edwards had three base hits, scored twice and knocked in a pair while Blanchard contributed two hits, two runs scored and two RBI. 

Nations fanned seven in five innings and left with the Bucs in front 8-7. Eddie Hiott kept the Bulldogs (12-25, 4-8) in check with three scoreless innings, allowing three hits and striking out two before Asheville threatened against Wil Hartsell in the ninth.  

Trailing by two, the Bulldogs put two on with one out before Hartsell slipped a third strike past Justin Woods and stopped a hard grounder by Scott Kobos with his foot and recovered to throw out the Asheville left fielder to pick up his second save of the season. 

CSU trailed 2-1 before taking the lead for good in the second against Asheville starter Austin Fahr and reliever Tyler Hughes. A two-run single by Blanchard gave the Bucs a 4-2 lead, and Singleton greeted Hughes with a two-run double to cap the uprising. 

Edwards made it 8-2 when he drove in a pair of runs with a fourth-inning double before the Bulldogs rallied in the fifth, scoring five times including two-run singles by Woods and Carmine Pagano. But the CSU staff blanked Asheville the rest of the way, aided by double play grounders following leadoff singles in the seventh and eighth. 

The Bucs take on North Greenville on Tuesday in Lexington, S.C., and play at USC Upstate the next day, with both of those non-conference games scheduled for 6 p.m. starts. CSU returns to Big South action next weekend at Gardner-Webb. 

-CSU-

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