Goss and Underwood Homer but Michigan State Outslugs the Spartans
GREENSBORO, N.C. – UNCG baseball could not overcome a big inning by the Michigan State Saturday evening at the UNCG Baseball Stadium. The Blue and Gold fell to the Green and White, 22-16 in a game that was delayed an hour and nine minutes, and featured a 51-minute weather delay in the third inning. UNCG falls to 1-5 on the season, while Michigan State improves to 6-0.
UNCG gained a 5-1 advantage before severe weather in the area forced a 51-minute weather delay.
“We weren’t the same after that weather delay in the third inning.” Head coach Link Jarrett said, “Our starting pitcher was great early in the game, and after the delay, he wasn’t able to keep the ball down, and as a staff we weren’t able to do that. We didn’t record a ground ball out from the fourth inning until the last out of the game. It was an offensive day for both teams, and it was a very grinding, difficult day. We did not command the ball down in the zone or execute enough pitches to get good hitters out. (Jeremiah) Triplett looked good, it was nice to get him on the mound and he rewarded us by striking out the side in the eight.”
“Offensively, obviously we had some guys who played really well.” Jarrett continued, “Trey (Jacobs) was able to get in there and hit a double and drive in the first runs of his career. We had a base-running play late in the game that hurt us in the middle of coming back a tremendous amount, and we were almost able to tie it up late. Which is unthinkable after they score 13 in one inning earlier. The guys fought, there was not a lack of effort or fight in any sense of the game, and it’ll be a big Sunday for us tomorrow.”
Bryce Hensley (Asheville, N.C./Catawba Valley CC) started the game for UNCG. The junior logged 3-plus innings, allowing eight hits and six earned runs. Hensley threw the first three innings. After giving up a run in the first, he sat MSU down in order in the second and didn’t allow a run in the third. After a 51-minute weather delay, the southpaw surrendered five-straight hits to start the fourth inning.
In total, UNCG used eight pitchers in the contest. Jeremiah Triplett (Wilkesboro, N.C./West Wilkes) made his first appearance in the Blue and Gold, striking out the side on 10 pitches in his first inning of work.
Tripp Shelton (Winston-Salem, N.C./West Forsyth) continues to swing the bat well. The junior shortstop led the team with five hits, and scored two runs. Andrew Moritz (Charlotte, N.C./Providence), Dillon Stewart (Dunn, N.C./Brunswick CC) and Michael Goss (Cartersville, Ga./Chattanooga State CC) each totaled three hits. Goss drove in a game-high four runs, Stewart added three. JoJo Underwood (Cartersville, Ga./Chattanooga State CC) connected for his first home run at UNCG.
Redshirt freshman Trey Jacobs (Hope Mills, N.C/South View) earned his first collegiate hit, and drove in his first RBI of his young career.
Michigan State scored in the first frame of Saturday’s contest. Danny Gleaves led off with a walk, stole second and advanced to third on a passed ball. Marty Bechina doubled to the wall in center field to bring in Gleaves and give MSU the early lead.
UNCG wasted no time to take its first lead of the series, scoring a pair of runs in the bottom of the first inning. Back-to-back singles from Shelton and Moritz set the table for Jacobs. Jacobs hit a double to center field for his first career hit, and drove in two for his first two RBI.
The Blue and Gold added to its lead in the bottom of the third. Moritz led off with a walk, and moved to second after a Stewart single. Goss hit an opposite field home run off of the foul pole in right to put UNCG up 5-1.
MSU took its first lead of the afternoon in the top of the fourth inning. Michigan State racked up 13 runs on ten hits and was aided by a of UNCG error. MSU took a 14-5 lead after three and a half innings.
UNCG cut into the lead in the bottom of the frame, plating three runs. Stewart and Goss recorded RBI hits in the frame.
Michigan State added three runs in its top of the fifth inning, aided by a two-RBI double from Chad Roskelly.
The Blue and Gold used a solo home run from Underwood to cut into MSU’s lead in the bottom of the fifth. It was Underwood’s first career home run at UNCG. Stewart was able to drive in Spitznagel later in the frame. After five complete, MSU led 17-10.
MSU got two solo home runs over the next two innings to increase its lead to 19-10.
UNCG wasn’t finished yet, the Blue and Gold scored six runs in the bottom of the seventh to cut the Michigan State lead down to 19-16. Moritz drove in a run with the bases loaded, and Stewart drove in another with a bases loaded walk. Devin Ruiz (Pennsauken, N.J./Paul VI) singled up the middle to drive in a pair. Caleb Webster (Randleman, N.C./Randleman) drove in Goss on a sacrifice fly to cut into the MSU lead.
Michigan State took advantage of some pitching miscues as the Green and White added three runs to pull away in the final inning.
UNCG and Michigan State wrap up the series tomorrow afternoon at 1:00 p.m.