Baseball Falls to No. 6 NC State at Home
GREENSBORO, N.C. – UNCG hit in to four double plays in a losing effort to the No. 6 North Carolina State Wolfpack in front of 1,058 fans Tuesday night. The Spartans fell to the Wolfpack 8-2, despite earning 12 hits in the contest. UNCG falls to 2-6 on the season, while NC State improves to 5-2.
“That was a good, competitive, exciting baseball games between two good teams.” Head coach Link Jarrett said, “NC State had the momentum early, and we battled back, stealing home was a moment that put the momentum back in our dugout and we go out in the top of the fifth with a 1-2-3 inning. We come out in the bottom of the fifth and get a walk and a double and set (Dillon) Stewart up to drive in some runs, and his first base to third base lineout double play isn’t something you see too often, but it happened tonight. It gave the momentum right back to them. They went out in the sixth and opened that game up.”
“They (NC State) played an outstanding defensive game all around.” Jarrett continued, “There were some defensive plays that we did not make, some that don’t show up in the box score, but it allows a team of that caliber to have extra opportunities and that hut us. It was a good baseball game, and I thought our guys played hard, we just weren’t clean enough in some areas to beat a team that played the way they did tonight.”
Junior Dan Loats (Eden Prairie, Minn./NIACC) got the start. The right-hander tossed 5.0 innings, allowing three runs and struck out three batters. Andrew Wantz (Holly Springs, N.C./Holly Springs) threw 2.2 innings, allowing four earned runs and striking out three. Jake Lewis (Wendell, N.C./Corinth Holders) and Alex Sova (Midland, Mich./Kellogg CC) logged 1.1 innings combined, striking out a pair of batters.
Andrew Moritz (Charlotte, N.C./Providence) and Cesar Trejo (Greensboro, N.C./Ragsdale) led the Spartan offense, as each had 3-for-4 performances. Moritz had an RBI and a double. Austin Embler (Southern Pines, Pinecrest) added a 2-for-4 performance as well.
The Wolfpack got the scoring started early, plating a pair of runs in the top of the first inning on a Will Wilson two-RBI single.
UNCG responded in the home half of the inning, cutting the lead in half. Ben Spitznagel (Cincinnati, Ohio/Wabash Valley CC) doubled to start the frame and moved to third on a sacrifice bunt from Tripp Shelton (Winston-Salem, N.C./West Forsyth). Moritz dropped in a single to centerfield to bring in Spitznagel and cut the lead to 2-1, Wolfpack.
The Spartans were able to tie the game up in the bottom of the fourth inning. Trejo hit a one-out single to start the rally. JoJo Underwood (Cartersville, Ga./Chattanooga State CC) connected on a hit and run to move Trejo to third and put runners on the corners. During Austin Embler’s (Southern Pines, N.C./Pinecrest) at bat, Underwood took off for second on an early steal. The disruption caught the NC State pitcher off guard as Trejo was able to steal home without a throw to tie the game up at 2-2.
NC State regained its lead in the top of the sixth inning. After a lead off single from Brad Debo, The Wolfpack loaded the bases on singles from Shane Shepard and Evan Mendoza. Wantz got a ground ball, but the Spartan defense was unable to convert the double play, allowing a pair of runs to score. Brock Deatherage followed with a triple to drive in the third run of the inning and took a 5-2 lead.
The Wolfpack added to its lead in the top of the eighth inning. Joe Dunand led off with a single and moved to third on a wild pitch and a ground out. Back-to-back doubles from Deatherage and Josh McLain drove in two more runs, giving NC State an 8-2 lead.
The Blue and Gold is back in action tomorrow afternoon as it hosts the High Point Panthers. First pitch is set for 4:00 p.m.