March 27, 2007
ASHEVILLE, N.C. - UNC Asheville scored four runs in the first inning and got strong starting pitching from Chris Nigro as the Bulldogs defeated Furman 7-3 in non-conference college baseball action at Greenwood Field Tuesday afternoon.
UNC Asheville (9-18) won for the third time in the last four games, while the Paladins (8-15) had their four-game winning streak snapped.
Nigro (1-2) allowed all three of Furman's runs in the first two innings but he allowed just two hits over the next five innings. After a Paladin hit with two outs in the second, the senior left-hander retired 10 straight hitters.
The Bulldogs were led at the plate by Elliott Arrington who went 2-for-4 with two RBI. Brett Robinson drove in two runs, while Rob Vernon scored twice. Senior shortstop Matt Henson hit his first career home run.
Furman's Marcus Rose, Jay Jackson and Cole Franklin had two hits each. Marc DeDecker (1-2) took the loss for the Paladins. Relievers Ian Perry and Butch Pucetas limited Asheville to just one hit over the final 5.1 innings.
Tony Maccani had a RBI-double in the top of the first to give Furman a 1-0 lead.
However, the Bulldogs answered back with four runs in the bottom of the frame. Kevin Mattison led off with a single. One out later, David Williams doubled down the left-field to put runners on second and third. Vernon followed with a RBI-single to knot the game at 1-1. Edmund Locklear walked to load the bases.
Robinson doubled to left-center, scoring two runs to give the Bulldogs the lead for good at 3-1. Arrington singled in Vernon to push the lead to 4-1. A strong throw from right-fielder Jay Jackson cut Robinson down at the plate for the second out of the inning.
The Paladins used some two-out lightning in the second to carve into the lead to 4-3. Connor Lind singled in Jackson to cut the lead to 4-2. Two batters later, Rose singled in Lind to make it 4-3.
But that was the last Furman would really threaten in the game as the Bulldog pitching limited the Paladins to just three hits the rest of the game.
Asheville got those two runs back in the third. With one out, Vernon was hit by a pitch and Locklear walked. Arrington singled sharply to right-field to score Vernon and pad the lead to 5-3. An error would score Locklear and Asheville led 6-3.
The final run of the game came in the fourth inning. With one out, Henson hit a home run over the left-field wall to make it 7-3.
The Paladins took advantage of a Bulldog error in the seventh to place runners on first and second with two outs, but Nigro got Bobby Hubbard to ground out and end the Paladin threat. Asheville relievers Andrew Alexander and Justin Schumer pitched the final two innings to give the Bulldogs their second straight win.