Baseball Completes Four-Game Sweep of Lafayette
GREENSBORO, N.C. – UNCG baseball defeated the Lafayette Leopards 11-8 to complete a four-game sweep Saturday afternoon at the UNCG Baseball Stadium. Tripp Shelton (Winston-Salem, N.C./West Forsyth) drove in a game-high five runs in the victory. UNCG improves to 12-8, and are the winners of five-straight. Lafayette falls to 2-18.
“I’m proud of the way we played, its difficult to sweep series, especially a four-game series.” Head coach Link Jarrett said, “I’m proud of the way we were able to pull that out. We got a great start out of (Dan) Loats, and when you hit four doubles in the first inning you allow your team to capture some momentum and we went with it. He pitched well with a lead. I thought his stuff got better as the game went on. His fifth and sixth innings were outstanding and we need him to pitch that way.”
“Up and down the lineup we had guys with good at bats.” Jarrett continued, “Cesar (Trejo) continues to find ways to help us. Caleb Webster had good at bats, Tripp Shelton had multiple big at bats with a couple big doubles. They (Lafayette) have a very physical lineup, I’m impressed with the way they swing the bat. Offensively we were able to create runs. I thought our base running today helped us create more offense and extend our lead. We answered, essentially every inning they were able to score, which kept the momentum on our side. That was a very good weekend for us, I’m proud of our team.”
Four players had multi-hit performances in Saturday’s game, led by Shelton. Shelton went 2-for-3 with two doubles; two runs scored, five RBI, and drew a walk. Cesar Trejo (Greensboro, N.C./Ragsdale) finished 2-for-5 with two RBI, two runs scored. Caleb Webster (Randleman, N.C./Randleman) went 2-for-3 with three runs scored and a triple. Devin Ruiz (Pennsauken, N.J./Paul VI) went 2-for-4 with a pair of doubles, an RBI and a run scored.
Dan Loats (Eden Prairie, Minn./NIACC) earned a quality start in his fourth start this season. The junior threw 6.0 innings, allowing two hits, two runs and striking out two batters earning the win (1-2). Travis Tuttle (Winston-Salem, N.C./Surrey CC) logged 2.0 innings in relief, striking out two. Easton Welch (Randleman, N.C./Gardner-Webb) threw 0.2 in the ninth, with a strikeout. Ben Kerner (Cary, N.C./Brunswick CC) faced one batter before giving way to Chad Sykes (Creedmoor, N.C./Voyager Academy). Sykes faced one batter, using four pitches to earn the strike out and his fourth save of the season.
UNCG got the scoring started early, plating five runs in the first inning. Trejo singled to left field to score Ben Spitznagel (Cincinnati, Ohio/Wabash Valley CC). After a double from Webster put two in scoring position, Shelton hit a double to center field to score two. Ruiz followed suit with a double of his own to score Shelton. Ryan Clinch (Jamestown, N.C./Brunswick CC) kept the rally going, doubling down the left field line. UNCG led 5-0 after the first inning.
Lafayette got on the board in the top of the third. Quentin Bubb doubled to left center and moved to third on a passed ball before scoring on a Spencer Rouse groundout, cutting the lead to 5-1.
The Spartans added to its lead in the bottom of the frame. After a two-out walk to Shelton, Ruiz doubled down the left field line. A wild pitch allowed Shelton to score and pushed the lead to 6-1, UNCG.
UNCG added to its lead in the fifth. Andrew Moritz (Charlotte, N.C./Providence) connected for a triple and scored when Trejo looped a single into left field. Webster drew a walk before Shelton drilled his second double of the game to right field to score two and increase the lead to 9-2.
The Leopards cut into the lead in the top of the seventh. John Selson doubled and moved to third on a wild pitch before scoring on a Brandon Posivak ground out.
UNCG got the run back in the bottom of the frame. Webster tripled and scored on a Shelton ground out to push the lead to 10-3.
The teams exchanged runs in the eighth inning. Lafayette rallied to score four runs in the top of the ninth inning before Sykes came on with two outs. He used four pitches to get the strikeout and earn the save.
The Blue and Gold is back in action Wednesday, March 22nd as it takes on the North Carolina A&T Aggies at First National Bank Field, home of the Greensboro Grasshoppers.