Webster Walks Off in the 11th as Baseball Defeats Furman
GREENSBORO, N.C. – The Southern Conference’s Player of the Month for March had some late inning heroics as UNCG earned a 7-6 11-inning victory over the Furman Paladins Saturday afternoon. Caleb Webster (Randleman, N.C./Randleman) hit a sacrifice fly in the 11th inning to help the Spartans earn the victory. UNCG improves to 20-10 and 6-2 in the Southern Conference. Furman falls to 11-18 and 1-7 in the SoCon.
“Obviously that was a great baseball game.” Head coach Link Jarrett said, “There were a lot of exciting moments in the game. (Ryne) Sigmon’s home run was huge to tie it back up in the 11th. (Matt) Frisbee got us through four innings, (Jack) Maynard came out of the bullpen to get us the rest of the way to get us to (Chad) Sykes. We felt Sykes was fresh and ready to go so we went with him and he did a really good job. (Ryan) Clinch did a great job behind the plate, its unfortunate that the one ball that got away gave Furman the late lead.”
“Offensively, the guys battled.” Jarrett continued, “(Austin) Embler had a big day with four hits. We weren’t as clean as we wanted to be today. But at the end of the day that was a good, quality win. I thought that it was a sign of our toughness because things weren’t going our way for part of it. It wasn’t as clean as we wanted to play offensively or defensively as we have played. The toughness and resiliency of the guys to go out there and grind and get it done in the end was tremendous.”
Matt Frisbee (Candler, N.C./Enka) got the start, throwing 4.0 innings. He allowed six hits, four runs two earned in the no decision. Jack Maynard (Crozet, Va./Patrick Henry CC) threw the next 4.0 innings, allowing four hits and an earned run while recording six strikeouts. Chad Sykes (Creedmoor, N.C./Voyager Academy) earned the victory, throwing the final 3.0 innings allowing one hit and striking out one batter. Sykes has recorded at least one strikeout in his last 36 appearances.
The Spartan offense recorded 15 hits in the contest, led by Austin Embler’s (Southern Pines, N.C./Pinecrest) four-hit performance. Embler hit a double, a triple and scored the game-winning run. Michael Goss (Cartersville, Ga./Chattanooga State CC) and Andrew Moritz (Charlotte, N.C./Providence) drove in two runs while going 1-for-4. Ryne Sigmon (Danville, Va./Danville CC) finished 1-for-5 with possibly the biggest hit of the game. Sigmon led off the bottom of the 11th inning with his second home run of the season, paving the way for Webster’s heroics.
Furman scored first, plating a run in the top of the first inning. Jabari Richards tripled to start the inning and was brought home on a Carter Grote sacrifice fly.
The lead was short-lived, as the Spartans scored three runs in the bottom of the frame. Embler led off with a single and moved to second after Ben Spitznagel (Cincinnati, Ohio/Wabash Valley CC) walked. Moritz laid down a sacrifice bunt, putting both in scoring position. Goss singled back up the middle to score two. After loading the bases, Ryan Clinch (Jamestown, N.C./Brunswick CC) line a line shot right at the third baseman that was mishandled, allowing Goss to score and put UNCG up 3-1.
The Spartans were back at it in the bottom of the second inning as Embler led off with a triple down the right field line. Moritz ground out to first base, but it allowed Embler to score and increase UNCG’s lead to 4-1.
Furman fought back, scoring a pair of runs in the top of the third. Richards got it started again, singling to right field. A walk moved him to second before a fielding error allowed Richards to score from second. Sky Overton followed with a single to right to score another and cut the lead down to 4-3.
Furman scored solo runs in back-to-back innings to take a 5-4 lead into the sixth inning. Dillon Love walked and moved to second after a Richards single. Grote followed with a single to bring in a run and tie the game in the fourth. Furman added a run after Jason Costa doubled and moved to third on a balk. Trent Alley reached on a fielder’s choice but Costa was able to score and take the lead.
UNCG tied it up in the bottom of the sixth inning. Embler got the rally started with a double, and came around to score when Moritz singled to center field.
The tie held until the 11th inning. Furman was able to bring in the go-ahead run following a wild pitch. Sigmon tied the game up with his second home run of the season, a solo blast to right field. UNCG was able to load the bases, setting up Webster. Webster flew out to deep right field allowing Embler to score and giving UNCG the 7-6 victory.
The Spartans and Paladins wrap up the three-game series tomorrow afternoon at 1:00 at the UNCG Baseball Stadium.