The Runnin' Bulldogs (19-17, 4-7 Big South) scored three runs in the top of the sixth to take the lead for good, and exploded for five runs in the seventh to extend its lead to 13-6 - and withstood another Charleston Southern (13-24, 5-6 Big South) rally to hold on for the 14-11 win.
Hodge had a two-run double in the third to tie the game, 2-2, and Dusty Quattlebaum belted a solo home run to lead off the top of the fourth to push the 'Dogs in front 3-2. Henry Rundio followed with an RBI single for a 4-2 lead that same inning, but Charleston Southern got a two-run home run from Blake Hunt and an RBI single from Jaren Sustar in the bottom of the fourth to retake the lead, 5-4.
Quattlebaum drove in Hodge with an RBI groundout in the fifth to tie the score, but the Buccaneers got another RBI from Hunt, this time in the form of a double down the left field line to go up 6-5.
Gardner-Webb would take control from there, as Adam McFarland led off the sixth by reaching on an error to start a rally. The Buccaneers nearly got out of the frame, getting a pair of quick outs after the miscue, but Benji Jackson kept the inning alive by legging out an infield single and stole second. Rundio scored on a second CSU error to tie the game and Scott Coleman put the 'Dogs in front for good with a two-run single to right field and an 8-6 lead.
The surge continued in the seventh, with McFarland and Scott Johnson leading off the frame with singles. Rundio was hit by a pitch to load the bases, and Jackson pushed the lead to 9-6 with an RBI walk. Hodge followed with a two-run single to push the lead to 11-6 and John Harris capped the rally with a two-run single to right for a 13-6 lead.
As it did Friday, Charleston Southern mounted a rally of its own in the late innings. The Bucs got a two-run home run from Walt Quattlebaum in the seventh to trim the lead to 13-8 and scored three runs in the eighth to tighten the score to 13-11.
Hodge gave the 'Dogs an insurance run in the top of the ninth, belting his first career home run to right field to make the score 14-11. Coleman followed with a double, but Charleston Southern got out of the inning within striking distance going into its final at bat.
Closer Adam Izokovic wasted little time in the bottom of the ninth, retiring the Buccanneers in order with a strikeout and two ground balls.
Hodge (3-for-5, 2B, HR, 5 RBI) paced a 15-hit effort for the 'Dogs, with Coleman (3-for-6, 2B, 2 RBI), Harris (2-for-5, 2 RBI) and Johnson (2-for-4) also collecting multiple safeties. Hodge extended his hit streak to 16 games Saturday as well.
Brock Wilson (4-2) picked up the win in relief, allowing just one run on two hits in 1.1 innings of work (two strikeouts). Conner Scarborough scattered 11 hits and allowed five runs in 4.0 innings of a no decision start.
Izokovic earned his seventh save of the season with his perfect ninth inning.
Charleston Southern had 17 hits Saturday and were paced Sustar (3-for-4) and Alex Tomasovich (3-for-4).
Weekley (1-4) took the loss in relief, allowing two unearned runs in 0.2 innings of work.
Gardner-Webb and Charleston Southern will play the series' rubber match on Sunday at 2:00 pm.