Sigmon's Big Day Helps Baseball Even Series with ETSU
JOHNSON, CITY, Tenn. – After being shutout for the first time 101 games last night, UNCG baseball avenged the loss by earning a 9-7 victory over the ETSU Buccaneers at Thomas Stadium Saturday afternoon. The Spartan offense racked up 16 hits in the contest, with all nine starters finishing with at least one hit. UNCG improves to 17-10 with the victory, and 3-2 in the Southern Conference. ETSU falls to 13-11, and 2-3 in the SoCon.
“Today was really a great response by our program after last night’s game.” Head coach Link Jarrett said, “I’m really proud of the way we came out and played today. (Bryce) Hensley gave us a good start and got us through the fifth, we flipped the lineup and we thought that was a good time to get (Andrew) Wantz out there. He carried us deep enough where we could use (Chad) Sykes. Unfortunately, they chipped away. That’s a very good offensive team, they’re tough outs and they capitalized at the end.”
“I’m very pleased with our offense.” Jarrett continued, “Up and down the lineup, our approach was great. Our short game came into play, there was some other times where the short game was in play and we ended up taking a pitch, but it seemed like we were able to get hits in those at bats. (Ryne) Sigmon had a great day, two triples and a double. (Caleb) Webster continues to have big knocks. You can look up and down the lineup there were a lot of key moments offensively. (Ben) Spitznagel had another two-hit game, (Michael) Goss had a big two RBI hit. I was really pleased with the way we got out of the gates, and hung in there all day. Good win for our program, really proud of the way we played today”
Bryce Hensley (Asheville, N.C./Catawba Valley CC) started and earned his fourth win of the season. The junior threw 5.0 innings, allowing four hits and a pair of earned runs with two strikeouts. Andrew Wantz (Holly Springs, N.C./Holly Springs) was first out of the bullpen. Wantz logged 3.1 innings, allowing five hits and five earned runs. Chad Sykes (Creedmoor, N.C./Voyager Academy) earned his seventh save of the season, throwin0.2 innings, and striking out a batter. With the strikeout, Sykes now has 34-straight appearances with at least one strikeout.
Ryne Sigmon (Danville, Va./Danville CC) led the Spartan offense’s resurgence. The right fielder finished 3-for-4 with two triples, a double, two RBI, and three runs scored. Ben Spitznagel (Cincinnati, Ohio/Wabash Valley CC) finished 2-for-6 with an RBI and a run scored. Michael Goss (Cartersville, Ga./Chattanooga State CC) added two hits, a pair of RBI and a run scored. Cesar Trejo (Greensboro, N.C./Ragsdale) hit his team-leading fourth home run in the contest.
UNCG took its first lead of the series in the top of the third inning. Sigmon led off the inning with a double to left center and advanced to third on an Austin Embler (Southern Pines, N.C./Pinecrest) single. Andrew Moritz (Charlotte, N.C./Providence) laced a single to right field to give UNCG the 1-0 lead.
Trejo doubled the Spartan lead in the top of the fourth. The sophomore hit his team-leading four home run of the season to increase the lead to 2-0.
ETSU tied the game up in the bottom of the fourth inning, getting a two-run double from Cullen Smith.
The Spartans were able to break the game open in the sixth, scoring five runs. Ryan Clinch (Jamestown, N.C./Brunswick CC) singled to start the frame and scored on a Sigmon triple to right center. Sigmon scored on an Embler sacrifice fly. Ben Spitznagel (Cincinnati, Ohio/Wabash Valley CC) got the rally going again, singling to the shortstop and stealing second base. After a fielder’s choice put runners on the corners, Moritz stole second. With the infield in, Michael Goss (Cartersville, Ga./Chattanooga State CC) singled up the middle to score two before being brought in on a Caleb Webster (Randleman, N.C./Randleman) double. The Spartans led 7-2 after the sixth inning.
UNCG added to it lead in the seventh, scoring two runs. Clinch hit a one-out double to right center before scoring on Sigmon’s second triple of the afternoon. Spitznagel drove in Sigmon and UNCG took a 9-2 lead at the stretch.
ETSU was able to cut into the Spartan lead in the eighth, plating a pair of runs on a sacrifice fly from Chris Cook, and an RBI double from Blake Rowlett.
The Bucs continued their rally in the ninth, scoring three runs, and had runners on second and third with one out before Sykes retired the two hitters he faced.
The Spartans and Bucs wrap up the series tomorrow afternoon at 1:00 at Thomas Stadium.