CSU 11, Gardner-Webb 4
Charleston Southern's Alex Tomasovich and Nick Berry combined for seven hits and three home runs as the Buccaneers blasted past Gardner-Webb on Friday night at CSU Ballpark.
Tomasovich homered twice and Berry added a solo shot as the Bucs scored in six of their first seven innings at-bats to pull away in the series opener.
CSU moved to 17-19 on the season and 3-10 in Big South play, while the Bulldogs fell to 15-19 and 6-7 in conference play.
Pitchers battled strong winds that seemed to blow out to all fields and gave the game the offensive feel college baseball had before the bats changed. Bucs' head coach Stuart Lake enjoyed the game's offensive fireworks and liked the attack his team showed after six days off.
"I though we looked fresh and sharp," Lake said. "I thought we had a lot of energy and think we benefitted from a couple days off. Gardner-Webb is a good team. Tory just battled there for us with the wind really blowing out hard. Offensively, we just kept answering them early."
Tomasovich went 3-for-5 and had an RBI double taken away with acrobatic catch in his first at-bat. Defense wouldn't be as much of a factor in his next three at-bats. He hit a solo home run down the left-field line in the second and followed with a towering two-run shot over the scoreboard in the fifth to push the lead to 10-3. He also had an RBI single.
Berry had an RBI single in the first and solo shot in the third for his team-leading fourth home run. He finished 4-for-4 and scored three times.
"It was fun to watch those guys hit tonight," Lake added. "Gardner-Webb hit some too, which wasn't as much fun, but to see the offense and watch the ball fly around made it feel like a normal college baseball game."
Junior Bobby Ison set the table for Tomasovich and Berry going 3-for-4 with an RBI, two runs scored and a stolen base.
CSU jumped on Gardner-Webb starter Matt Fraudlin in their opening at-bat. Two-out singles from Berry and Zack Hagaman plated the Bucs' first two runs. CSU added a run on a throwing error by catcher Brantley Smith to take a 3-0 lead.
The inning could have been worse for the Bulldogs, but left fielder Scott Coleman robbed Alex Tomasovich of an RBI double crashing into the wall full-speed for the second out of the inning.
Gardner-Webb immediately cut into the Bucs' lead in the second on a two-run home run by first baseman Sam Fulginti to trim the lead to 3-2.
The Bucs' Ison singled and stole second to set up a sacrifice fly from Andrew Widell for CSU fourth run. Tomasovich followed with his second home run of the year to push the lead to 5-2.
The team traded runs in their next two at bats as Berry hit a solo home run to the opposite field and Gardner-Webb's Henry Rundio answered with a solo blast to left center to make it 6-3.
Berry and Tomasovich continued their big night in the fifth. Cody Austin's bases-loaded single scored two and pushed the Buc lead to 8-3 against Bulldogs' ace Matt Fraudlin (2-4).
Schroff (3-2) pitched well in the offensive setting, working seven innings and striking out six. Kyle McDorman worked two scoreless innings to close out the win.
Fulginti led the Bulldogs attack, going 2-for-4 with two RBIs and scoring twice.
The two teams meet again at 6 p.m. Saturday.