Baseball Cannot Withstand Late Buckeye Rally and Fall in Series Finale
COLUMBUS, Ohio – Spartan baseball dropped a 5-4 contest in the series finale with the Ohio State Buckeyes Sunday afternoon at Bill Davis Stadium. UNCG couldn’t rally late after giving up solo runs in the seventh and eighth innings. The Spartans fall to 24-15 on the season, with Ohio State improving to 16-24.
“Unfortunately, we didn’t come out of here with a win.” Head coach Link Jarrett said, “They played a better game today, and they deserved that ball game. Their reliever did a very good job, carrying that game the rest of the way. I thought our guys fought, we just made some mistakes, some were obvious, some were not as obvious. Its disappointing that you have to walk out of here with the feeling of losing the last game, and that feeling sticks with you for a bit.
“I’m proud of our team to come up here and win two out of three.” Jarrett continued, “I wish we would have played a little better today. We were in it, we did some things at inopportune times that cost us. Offensively we had some chances, but we never really got into our offense. We weren’t able to get lead off guys on so we weren’t able to get as deep into the playbook. I’m proud of the way the guys competed and were ready to go today. Ohio State came in and executed a little better and came out on top.”
Dan Loats (Eden Prairie, Minn./NIACC) started on the bump. The junior went 5.1 innings, allowing five hits, three runs, two earned and struck out six in a no-decision. Andrew Wantz (Holly Springs, N.C./Holly Springs) came out of the bullpen and suffered the loss. Wantz went 2.2 innings, allowing four hits and a pair of earned runs.
Caleb Webster (Randleman, N.C./Randleman), and Andrew Moritz (Charlotte, N.C./Providence) led the offense. Webster finished 3-for-5 with two runs scored and a stolen base. Moritz finished 3-for-4 with a run scored and a stolen base. Cesar Trejo (Greensboro, N.C./Ragsdale) added two hits and an RBI. Ben Spitznagel (Cincinnati, Ohio/ Wabash Valley CC) Michael Goss (Cartersville, Ga./Chattanooga St. CC) drove in one run apiece.
UNCG get the scoring started in the first. Three-straight hits from Webster, Moritz and Goss loaded the bases. Trejo hit a sacrifice fly to center field to bring in Webster and give UNCG the early lead.
Ohio State answered back in its half of the first inning. Jalen Washington singled and stole second. After a walk put two on, Washington took off for third. The throw got away and allowed Washington to score to tie the game at one.
The Spartans regained the lead in the top of the third inning, scoring two runs. Singles from Webster and Moritz put two on. Goss ground out to drive in Webster before a throwing error allowed Moritz to score to put UNCG up 3-1.
The Buckeyes answered with two runs of their own in their half of the third. Tre’ Gantt and Washington hit back-to-back doubles to score one. Washington swiped third and was able to score on a Dominic Canzone sacrifice fly to tie it up at three.
UNCG rallied to score a run in the top of the fourth inning. With two outs, JoJo Underwood (Cartersville, Ga./Chattanooga St. CC) doubled and came home on a Spitznagel single up the middle.
That score held until Ohio State scored a solo run in the bottom of the seventh and eight innings. In the seventh, Conner Pohl led off with a double and scored when Gantt singled up the middle. The eighth inning run was scored after Brady Cherry led off with a double, moved to third on a ground out and scored on a wild pitch to take a 5-4 lead.
UNCG rallied in the ninth. Ryne Sigmon (Daville, VA./Danville CC) delivered a clutch at bat, singling through the left side. Underwood laid down a sacrifice bunt to move him over and Spitznagel moved him to third following a close play at first. The Spartans were unable to bring him in as Webster struck out to end the contest
The Spartans return to action Tuesday as they host No. 17/18 Wake Forest at the UNCG Baseball Stadium at 6:00 p.m.