Baseball Rallies Late to Defeat Maryland Eastern Shore
GREENSBORO, N.C. – Spartan baseball rallied in the bottom of the eighth inning to defeat the Maryland Eastern Shore Hawks 5-3 on Friday evening. The Spartans trailed for five-plus innings before rallying late to earn the victory. The Spartans improve to 3-6 on the season, while Maryland Eastern Shore falls to 0-7.
“Each ballgame has its own personality, and that game early on was pitching and defense.” Head coach Link Jarrett said, “(Jack) Maynard uncharacteristically walked some people, and they were able to take advantage. (Jamison) Trower jumped on the ball early and hit the home run and it took us a while to wake up offensively. They played a good defensive game and their starter did a nice job using his fastball and executing his changeup.”
“The game changed with (Andrew) Moritz laid down the bunt hit in the eighth and stole second base.” Jarrett continued, “(Dillon) Stewart ended up driving him in, and (Michael) Goss had a big double, and (Austin) Embler had a base hit and Joey (Holcomb) did a great job sending Goss even though the infielder gathered the ball in shallow center field. Chad (Sykes) threw a tremendous ninth inning. Ryan Clinch stands out, the home run early, and two other base hits. He continues to work hard and grind it out behind the plate, I’m proud he could have a game like that. The short game and the base running gave us a shot to open that game up. They played a very good game and we opened it up late with good at bats, and good pitching out of the bullpen.
Jack Maynard (Crozet, Va./Patrick Henry CC) started on the hill, logging 5.1 innings. The junior allowed six hits, gave up three runs and struck out seven batters. Andrew Wantz (Holly Springs, N.C./Holly Springs) came on in relief, tossing the final 2.2 innings. Wantz (1-1) earned the victory, did not allow a hit and struck out three batters. Chad Sykes (Creedmoor, N.C./Voyager Academy) worked the ninth, striking out two while allowing one hit.
At the plate, UNCG connected for ten hits. Dillon Stewart (Dunn, N.C./Brunswick CC) paced the Spartan offense, going 3-for-4 with five RBI, two runs scored, a double and a home run. Ryan Clinch (Jamestown, N.C./Brunswick CC) finished 3-for-4, with a run and two RBI. The junior connected for his first home run of the season in the bottom of the fifth inning.
The Hawks were able to score first, as they took advantage of a couple of walks in the top of the second inning. Dominic DeBlasie walked and came around after Jamison Trower jumped on the first pitch he saw and took it out of the ballpark to score two. Dallas Culota added to the lead, singling to right field to drive in Joey Nicastro and give the Hawks a 3-0 lead.
The Spartans got on the board in the bottom of the fifth inning by virtue of a Clinch solo blast, his first of the season.
UNCG rallied to score 10 runs in the bottom of the eighth to take its first lead of the contest. With one out, Andrew Moritz (Charlotte, N.C./Providence) laid down a bunt single and stole second base. Stewart doubled to left field to score Moritz, and a double from Michael Goss (Cartersville, Ga./Chattanooga State CC) scored Stewart. Austin Embler (Southern Pines, N.C./Pinecrest) drove an 0-2 pitch back up the middle to score Goss and put UNCG up 4-3. Back-to-back hits from Clinch and Ben Spitznagel (Cincinnati, Ohio/Wabash Valley CC) drove in two more. The inning was capped by a Stewart grand slam, giving UNCG the 11-3 win.
The Blue and Gold is back in action against these same Hawks tomorrow afternoon, first pitch at 2:00.