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Bulldogs Live to Start on Wednesday, Nov. 4 at Scully’s

Friday, October 30th, 2009

ASHEVILLE, NC – The UNC Asheville men’s and women’s basketball radio show – Bulldogs’ Live – is returning for its sixth year starting on Wednesday, Nov. 4 at Scully’s Signature Restaurant on 13 Walnut Street from 6-7 p.m. The show will be broadcast on WISE Radio (1310-AM). Each week the show will provide an update on both Bulldog basketball teams.

The show will move to Wednesday’s this year after being on Thursday the past five seasons. The move was necessary due to the men’s basketball team playing six Big South Conference games on Thursday this year.

Bulldogs’ Live will feature comments from head men’s coach Eddie Biedenbach and women’s coach Betsy Blose plus a chance for callers to ask questions of each coach. Both Bulldog teams will have players on the show from time-to-time.

“We are delighted that WISE Radio and Scully’s is allowing us to have Bulldogs Live yet again this year,” commented Biedenbach. “This is a great opportunity for our fans to interact with both of our basketball programs.”

“I’m really happy that Bulldogs’ Live is back for another year,” stated Blose. “It’s a wonderful show that gives us a chance to promote our programs and be with our great fans.”

Pound Pup Becomes UNC Asheville’s Mascot

Tuesday, March 31st, 2009

ASHEVILLE, NC – The new bulldog mascot for the University of North Carolina Asheville began his college career as a rescued dog at the Escambia County (Alabama) Animal Shelter.

His name was Rebel when he was rescued along with a female named Dixie in early 2008. Dixie and Rebel were the proud parents of 10 beautiful puppies. Their owners surrendered them to the animal shelter, according to Renee Jones, director of the Humane Society of Escambia County, Ala.

Jones fostered the canine family at her home for nine days before they were moved to the Rockin’ P Boxer rescue in Jackson, Ala.

“I sent her the pics of how adorable the pups were and she agreed to take them. Two of her wonderful volunteers met us in Montgomery and crammed the two adults along with the ten puppies into a small little neon and off they went,” Jone said. Rebel was later transfered to a rescue shelter in Georgia.

For years, UNC Asheville’s bulldog mascot, Rocky, has been known to be tenacious, strong and courageous… now rescued can be added to this list of traits.

The University unveiled its new live mascot “Rocky I,” a white Victorian Bulldog with black spots, at half-time of the men’s basketball homecoming game against Coastal Carolina on February 21, at UNC Asheville’s Justice Center. Rocky I will make his triumphant entrance following the presentation of the 2009 Athletics Hall of Fame inductees.

“Students, alumni, faculty, staff and the entire community are absolutely going to fall in love with this dog,” said Kevan Frazier, UNC Asheville Associate Vice Chancellor for Alumni Relations, who has been instrumental in bringing back the tradition of a live mascot. “At first glance you see an 85-pound bulldog and then you see a very friendly attention-loving pal. And on top of that, he’s just cute.”

The University has had four live bulldog mascots dating from 1948 to the early 1980s. The tradition lay dormant for more than 20 years until recently. About two years ago, students, alumni and staff began working diligently to bring back the tradition.

Alumni couple and dog lovers Alexis and Ed Johnson volunteered to be the mascot’s keepers and trainers. Ed, who is a lecturer in UNC Asheville’s Mathematics Department, began contacting breeders across the southeast. For months he had little luck finding the right dog. On a whim one day, Ed started researching bulldog rescue organizations. In less than 30 minutes he found what seemed like a perfect match in Rebel.

Last November, Ed and Alexis drove to Georgia to meet the rescued Victorian Bulldog and to determine if they could mold him into mascot material. Immediately they knew they had found Rocky I.

“When I met Rocky, I knew that he was the dog for UNC Asheville,” said Frazier. “He was worth the wait, drool and all.”

One student who has met Rocky is Mary Ann Craver, who served on the mascot committee.,/p>

“I was so excited to meet him and wasn’t disappointed,” said Craver, a senior from Lexington, N.C. “Rocky’s energy is great. He’s very friendly and athletic and brings the mascot personality to life. Now the UNC Asheville Bulldog isn’t just a symbol.”

Frazier agrees and sees Rocky’s rescue from Georgia as especially serendipitous.

“From all accounts, this dog didn’t want any part of being a Georgia Bulldog,” he said. “Rocky is a UNC Asheville Bulldog through and through. We’re proud to welcome him home.”

UNCA Bulldogs Take Series Finale 9-4 at VMI

Monday, March 23rd, 2009

LEXINGTON, Va.—Beau Zinman hit a two-run home run and Ryan Dull picked up his first victory of the season as UNC Asheville defeated VMI, 9-4, Sunday afternoon in the final game of a three game series.

Dull earned his first collegiate victory throwing six innings, allowing three runs on six hits and striking out five Keydets. Grier Harrington pitched the final three innings allowing one run on four hits for his first career save.

The victory snaps a nine-game losing streak for the Bulldogs who move to 4-17 overall and 2-6 in Big South play. VMI suffers its first conference loss falling to 10-11 overall and 4-1 in the conference.

Both teams scored single runs in the second inning. Walks to Derrick Hopkins and Mike Vaughn got the Asheville half of the inning started. Jonny Eaker singled home Hopkins to give the Bulldogs their first lead of the series.

VMI tied the game in the bottom of the inning. Sam Roberts doubled to lead off and scored on a RBI single by Jacob Morley. The Keydets took the lead in the fourth inning on a triple by Alex Haitsuka that scored Justin Topping from first base.

The Bulldogs took the lead for good with four runs in the top of the fifth. Eaker reached on a throwing error to begin the rally. Danny Baatz singled through the left side to put runners at first and second with one out. Kevin Weidenbacher, who had two hits in the game, doubled home both runners to put Asheville up 3-2. After a ground out, Zinman connected on his third home run of the year to make the score 5-2.

In the sixth, Austin Graham led off with a double and scored an unearned run on a VMI throwing error that allowed Eaker to reach base.

Asheville plated three more unearned runs in the seventh. Weidenbacher reached on an error to start the inning and moved to second base. After a sacrifice bunt moved him to third base, Zinman laid down a squeeze bunt to score Weidenbacher. Reed Kreiser was hit by a pitch and Graham picked up his second hit of the game. Vaughn came through with a two-RBI double to move the score to 9-3.

VMI scored the final run of the game on a bases loaded walk to Toppings that pushed across A.J. Yoder. Harrington then struck out Haitsuka to end the inning.

Jeremy Brown took the loss for the Keydets dropping to 1-4. He went five innings, allowing five runs (two earned) on seven hits.

Asheville returns to action on Tuesday as it travels to East Tennessee State for a 7 p.m. game.

Coastal Carolina Holds Off UNC Asheville 9-4

Monday, March 16th, 2009

ASHEVILLE, N.C. – #12 Coastal Carolina got four hits and three RBIs from David Anderson as the Chanticleers held off UNC Asheville 9-4 in Big South Conference baseball action Sunday evening at McCormick Field.

The teams were scheduled to play a double-header on Sunday but rain in the morning in the Asheville area forced the teams to play just one game. The series will try and conclude on Monday with a double-header scheduled to start at 2 p.m.

The Bulldogs (3-12, 1-3-0 BSC) battled Coastal Carolina (15-1, 1-0 BSC) on the day as they rallied from a 5-0 deficit to cut the lead to 5-4 with three runs in the sixth inning but the Chanticleer bullpen kept Asheville at bay the rest of the way.

The Bulldogs were led at the plate by left-fielder Beau Zinman who went 3-for-4 with one run scored and a double.

Carolina starter Cody Wheeler (3-0) picked up the win with five innings pitched. He scattered five hits, allowed one run, struck out four with no walks. T.J. Swank finished the game for the Chants and earned his first save with two scoreless innings of work.

The Chanticleers struck for two runs in the first on a ground-out from Chance Gilmore and run-scoring single from Anderson.

The visitors pushed across two runs in the fourth as a sacrifice fly from Daniel Bowman and run-scoring double from Taylor Motter to increase the lead to 4-0.

Anderson singled in Gilmore in the fifth to pad the margin to 5-0.

The Bulldogs got on the board in the bottom of the fifth. Freshman Jordan Lurie’s infield single plated Danny Baatz to narrow the lead to 5-1.

Asheville made the game close with three unearned runs in the sixth. Reed Kreiser led off with a double and then went to third on Zinman’s double to right field.

CCU reliever Tom Winegardner got the next two outs and almost escaped from the jam but a throwing error by Motter at shortstop scored two runs to cut the lead to 5-3. A pinch-hit single from Derrick Hopkins got the Dogs even closer at 5-4.

Gilmore got a run back in the seventh with a sacrifice fly to get the lead to 6-4.

The Chanticleers sealed the victory in the ninth with three insurance runs. Anderson’s infield single padded the lead to 7-4. Adam Rice then delivered a two-run double to increase the lead to 9-4.

UNCA Baseball Falls to No. 20 East Carolina, 4-2

Wednesday, March 11th, 2009

GREENVILLE, N.C. – Jared Avchen’s two-out two-run double in the bottom of the eighth inning gave No. 20 East Carolina a 4-2 win over UNC Asheville Tuesday afternoon at Lewis Field inside Clark-LeClair Stadium. With the win ECU improves to 9-2, while UNC Asheville drops to 3-10.

With the score tied at two in the eighth, the Pirates put together three consecutive hits which was capped off by Avchen’s double down the left field line that plated Drew Schieber and Dustin Harrington for a 4-2 advantage. Schieber laced a two-out single to left, which was followed by Harrington’s second hit of the game, a single to center setting up Avchen’s at-bat.

Brad Mincey picked his third win in relief working two innings of shutout ball with two strikeouts. Starter Mike Anderson went six innings allowing two runs on five hits and fanned a career-high six batters. Seth Simmons closed the game by notching his second save of the season and fourth of his career setting the Bulldogs down in order and recording two strikeouts.

Ryan Dull (0-3) suffered the loss for UNC Asheville allowing two runs on four hits with a walk and strikeout in two innings of relief. Michael Bogaert went three innings, gave up one run on three hits with a pair of punch outs in the start. Bridging the gap between Bogaert and Dull was Grier Harrington, who surrendered one run on three hits with two strikeouts.

Beau Zinman gave the Bulldogs and early 1-0 lead in the second when he took a 2-0 offering from Anderson out to left field for his first home run of the season.

The Bulldogs extended its to 2-0 when Kevin Weidenbacher drove in Cody Buch with an RBI single up the middle in the fourth frame. Buch reached base when he stroked a two-out double down the left field line.

ECU finally got on the board in the bottom of the fourth on Brandon Henderson’s sac fly to center that pulled the Pirates within one, 2-1. Stephen Batts, who extended his hit streak to 13 games, led off the inning with a double to left-center then swiped his seventh base of the season when he took third.

The Pirates knotted the game at two on Ryan Wood’s sac fly in the seventh. Harrington led off the frame with a single up the middle then moved to second on Avchen’s sac bunt. Devin Harris recorded his second base knock of the game pushing Harrington over to third, putting runners at the corner before Trent Whitehead loaded the bases on a free pass.

Both teams will be back in action tomorrow to conclude the two-game series with a first pitch scheduled for 3 p.m

UNCA Bulldogs Face Radford in Semifinals on Thursday

Friday, March 6th, 2009

RADFORD, VA. – The UNC Asheville men’s basketball team will take on top-seeded Radford Thursday night in the semifinals of the 2009 Advance Auto Parts Big South Conference Tournament at the Dedmon Center starting at 8 p.m. The game will be televised by ESPNU and broadcast on WISE Radio (1310-AM).

The fourth-seeded Bulldogs (15-15) advanced to the semifinals with a hard-fought 76-68 victory over fifth-seeded Winthrop Tuesday night before an energized crowd of 1,008 at Justice Center. It marks the third straight year that UNC Asheville has gotten to the semifinals of the tournament.

The Bulldogs face a tough challenge with the regular-season champion Highlanders (19-11). Radford beat Asheville twice this season and both were close games. The Highlanders edged the Bulldogs 98-88 in overtime on Jan. 10 in overtime and slipped past Asheville 66-65 at Justice Center on Feb. 24.

"We played well in both games, but Radford made big plays when it had to make them," commented Bulldog head coach Eddie Biedenbach. "I’ve thought from the start of the year that Radford would be very tough to beat in our league and that’s proven to be true. They have great size and know how to use it. We’re going to have to slow their inside game down and do a better job on the boards."

Biedenbach is proud of his young team for its performance against Winthrop. The Eagles beat the Bulldogs both times this year but Asheville led from start to finish on Tuesday night. The Bulldogs scored the first 14 points of the game and got 27 points from senior forward Reid Augst.

"We really came out and played well from the start against Winthrop," said Biedenbach. "We fought hard for 40 minutes, played good defense and did a great job on offense in the first half. I thought we should have finished the game better than we did but our effort was just sensational."

The winner of Thursday’s game will play in the championship game on Saturday at 4 p.m. against either second-seeded VMI or third-seeded Liberty. Those two teams will play at Radford starting at 6 p.m. on Thursday in the other semifinal game.

Bulldogs Roar Past Winthrop 76-68; Face Top-Seed Radford on Thursday

Wednesday, March 4th, 2009

ASHEVILLE, N.C. – Reid Augst scored 27 points to lead fourth-seeded UNC Asheville to a 76-68 Advance Auto Parts Big South Conference quarterfinals victory over fifth-seeded Winthrop at Justice Center Tuesday night.

The Bulldogs (15-15) advance to the semifinals for the third straight year and will face top-seeded Radford on Thursday night on the Highlanders home court starting at 8 p.m. live on ESPNU. The Eagles (11-19) steak of four straight Big South Conference championships came to an end on Tuesday. The loss snapped a 12-game Big South Tournament winning streak for Winthrop.

Augst was 9-of-15 from the field, 7-of-10 from thee free throw line and grabbed six rebounds to help UNC Asheville snap a three-game losing streak to Winthrop dating back to last season. Sean Smith added 15 points for the home team, while Matt Dickey added 12 points. John Williams came close to a double-double with nine points and 10 rebounds.

The Eagles were led by freshman Andre Jones with 18 points. Charles Corbin came off the bench and scored 15 points and collected 10 rebounds. Mantoris Robinson finished with 14 points, while Byron Faison chipped in 13 points.

The Bulldogs took control of the game quickly as they scored the first 14 points of the game, holding the Eagles scoreless for the first six minutes. Augst had eight points in the early run that stopped when Jones knocked down a trey.

The Bulldogs shot 55 percent (16-of-29) from the field in the first half and led 45-32 at halftime.

In the second half, Asheville pushed the lead to 17 at 62-45 on a jumper from Dickey with 11:28 left. Winthrop went on a 15-3 run to claw its way back in the game as Jones knocked down a three-pointer to cut the lead to 67-63 at the 5:42 mark.

The Bulldogs got the lead back to eight at 71-63 on four free throws before the Eagles made one more push and closed to 71-66 on a Corbin trey at the 1:53 mark. Winthrop had a chance to get closer but Corbin missed the front end of a one-and-one at the 58-second mark. Asheville got a free throw from J.P. Primm to make it 72-66 before Corbin scored on a rebound bucket to narrow the lead to 72-68 with seven seconds left.

The Bulldogs sealed the victory by making four straight free throws in the final seven seconds to end a two-game Big South Tournament losing streak to Winthrop. The Eagles had beaten Asheville in the semifinals of the 2007 Big South Tournament and championship game of last year’s tournament.

UNC Asheville Faces Winthrop in First Round of Big South Men’s Tournament

Monday, March 2nd, 2009

ASHEVILLE, N.C. – In a re-match of last year’s Big South Championship Game, UNC Asheville will host Winthrop at 7 p.m. on Tuesday at Justice Center in the first round of the 2009 Advance Auto-Parts Big South Championships.

The Tournament seedings were announced after the completion of Saturday night’s games. UNC Asheville dropped its regular season finale at Presbyterian 76-61. The win by Presbyterian coupled with victories by Winthrop (70-50 over Coastal Carolina) and Gardner-Webb (68-59 over Charleston Southern) left a three-way tie for fifth place in the conference standings. Although Presbyterian is not eligible for post-season play, the Blue Hose are factored into tiebreakers. Winthrop went 3-1 against PC and GWU while Gardner-Webb went 2-2 against Winthrop and Presbyterian giving the Eagles fifth place.

Gardner-Webb ends up in sixth place and will face Liberty at Vines Center on Tuesday. Radford won the regular season title and earns the No. 1 seed. It will face No. 8 seed High Point at Dedmon Center. No. 2 seed VMI will host No. 7 seed Coastal Carolina at Cameron Hall. All of Tuesday’s quarterfinal match-ups will begin at 7 p.m.

The semifinals will be at Radford’s Dedmon Center on Thursday, March 5. Both semifinal games will be broadcast on ESPNU at 6 and 8 p.m. The finals will be hosted by the highest remaining seed on Saturday, March 7, at 4 p.m. The Championship Game will be broadcast on ESPN2.

This will mark the third straight year that UNC Asheville has played Winthrop in the Big South Tournament. The Eagles won both meetings against the Bulldogs this season, winning 87-67 at Winthrop on Jan. 17 and 56-49 at Justice Center on Jan. 28.

UNC Asheville knocked off Winthrop in the semifinals of the 2003 Big South Tournament on its way to its only NCAA appearance.

Tuesday’s quarterfinal will be video streamed at www.bigsouthsports.com for a small fee. The will be broadcast in the Asheville area on AM-1310/970 WISE.

Quarterfinals – Tuesday, March 3 (at top four seeds)

Game 1: No. 2 VMI hosts No. 7 Coastal Carolina, 7:00pm ET (at Lexington, Va.)

Game 2: No. 3 Liberty hosts No. 6 Gardner-Webb, 7:00pm ET (at Lynchburg, Va.), TV: FTN

Game 3: No. 1 Radford hosts No. 8 High Point, 7:00pm ET (at Radford, Va.)

Game 4: No. 4 UNC Asheville hosts No. 5 Winthrop, 7:00pm ET (at Asheville, N.C.)

Semifinals – Thursday, March 5 (at Dedmon Center, Radford, Va.)

Game 5: Semifinals – No. 2/No. 7 winner vs. No. 3/No. 6 winner, 6:00pm ET; TV: ESPNU

Game 6: Semifinals – No. 1/No. 8 winner vs. No. 4/No. 5 winner, 8:00pm ET; TV: ESPNU

Championship – Saturday, March 7 (at highest remaining seed)

Game 7: Championship – Game 5 winner vs. Game 6 winner, 4:00pm ET; TV: E

Big Inning Lifts UNC Asheville over Central Michigan 12-4

Friday, February 27th, 2009

ASHEVILLE, N.C.—UNC Asheville had six straight two-out hits in a seven run third inning to record a 12-4 victory over Central Michigan Friday afternoon at Greenwood Field.

The Bulldogs scored 11 unanswered runs after falling behind 1-0 to record their first win of 2009 and improve to 1-5. Central Michigan falls to 2-3.

Billy Anderson led off the game with a solo home run to right-field to give the Chippewas a 1-0 lead. It was the first home run of the season for Central Michigan.

Asheville tied the game with an unearned run in the second inning. Beau Zinman led off with a single and then moved to third base on a two-out hit by Austin Graham. Graham stole base. The throw to second got away and Zinman was able to score from third.

Kevin Weidenbacher had a one out double in the third. Justin Schumer had a two out walk to put runners at first and second. Zinman singled to third base. Tom Howard made a diving stop to momentarily save a run. Mike Vaughn singled to score Weidenbacher and Schumer making the score 3-1. Cody Buch, Graham, both had RBI singles in front of a two-RBI triple by Danny Baatz. Catlin Carter singled to score Baatz and give Asheville an 8-1 lead.

That was enough for starter Michael Bogaert (1-1) who threw six innings giving up one run on three hits. Bogaert struck out a season-high eight Chippewas. Steve Teno (0-2) lasted three inning giving up eight runs (seven earned) on 10 hits. All eight Asheville runs were scored with two outs.

The Bulldogs added three more in the sixth. Carter who went 3-for-5 in the game, doubled to lead off the inning. He moved to third on a passed ball and scored on a Reed Kreiser single. Schumer followed with a double placing runner at second and third. Vaughn singled home Kreiser. Schumer came around to score on a throwing error to make the score 11-1.

CMU got back on the board in the seventh. Back-to-back pinch hits by Nate Theunissen and a Tyler Kipke produced a run. In the bottom of the inning, Kreiser hit a sacrifice fly to score Carter who had single and moved to third on a base hit by Weidenbacher.

In the eighth, CMU finished the scoring as Matt Faiman led off with a single. A wild pitch moved him to second base where he would score on a single by Reid Rooney. Rooney moved up to second on an error and moved to third on a ground out. A fielder’s choice off the bat of Harvey Martin allowed Rooney to score and bring the final to 12-4.

Carter and Weidenbacher each had three hits for Asheville. Kreiser, Zinman, Vaughn, Buch, and Graham all had two hits as the Bulldogs pounded out a season-high 18 hits in the game. 10 of the Bulldogs 12 runs were scored with two outs.

The two teams are scheduled to play a double-header at Greenwood Field on Saturday beginning at 11 a.m. The first game will be broadcast on uncabulldogs.com

Williams Leads UNCA Bulldogs Past High Point in Overtime 81-78

Thursday, February 19th, 2009

HIGH POINT, N.C. – John Williams scored a career-high 32 points and grabbed 10 rebounds to lead UNC Asheville to a thrilling 81-78 overtime victory at High Point Wednesday night.

The Bulldogs (13-14, 9-7 BSC) won for the fourth time in the last five games and won their third straight overtime game. It was Asheville’s first win at High Point since the 2003-04 season.

Williams went 11-of-14 from the field and 10-of-14 from the free throw line. He scored eight points in overtime.

Sean Smith added 19 points for the Bulldogs, while Matt Dickey chipped in 11 points. Cruz Daniels led the Panthers (8-18, 4-12 BSC) with a career-best 25 points and 15 rebounds.

"I’m really proud of our guys for battling hard and winning the game," said UNC Asheville coach Eddie Biedenbach. "We should have won the game in regulation but did a great job in overtime and got some key offensive rebounds."

Asheville led 79-78 with 32 seconds left in overtime when the Bulldogs fouled David Singleton. Singleton missed both free throws that would have given the Panthers the lead. Williams got the rebound and was fouled. He hit one free throw that pushed the lead to 80-78.

Williams got another key offensive rebound with nine seconds left and made a free throw to get the lead to 81-78. High Point had a chance to tie but Nick Barbour’s three-pointer was short and the Bulldogs escaped with the victory.

The Panthers tied the game at the end of regulation when Eugene Harris hit a 15-footer as the buzzer sounded to make it 70-70. Williams had given the Bulldogs the lead with five seconds left when he scored on a dunk.

UNC Asheville led for much of the first half thanks to great shooting from the field and the three-point line. The Bulldogs shot 62 percent from the field and 60 from beyond the arc to take a 43-36 halftime lead. Smith had 12 points in the opening half on three treys. High Point stayed close behind the play of Daniels who scored 14 points in the first half.

"John Williams really played great tonight," commented Biedenbach. "He also hit some big free throws when we had to have them."

The Bulldogs play their final regular-season home game of the year Saturday afternoon against Coastal Carolina starting at 4:30 p.m.