Balanced Performance Leads Baseball to Season Sweep of Elon
ELON, N.C. – The UNCG offense knocked out 15 hits as the pitching staff combined to allow just three runs as the Spartans earned a 10-3 victory over the Elon Phoenix Tuesday evening at Latham Park. UNCG takes the two-game season series, the first time since 2014 when both teams were members of the Southern Conference that UNCG has swept the season series, The Spartans improve to 27-16 on the season, while Elon falls to 20-25.
“Good performance tonight, to come over here and play the way we did.” Head coach Link Jarrett said, “We haven't played that way in some of our midweek outings, and that was a good job all-around. Offensively, the guys made a nice adjustment in the second inning. To rattle off that string of hits and runs is tough to do. Elon is a very good team, but our guys were on it and that held. (Andrew) Moritz had a great day with three hits, Devin (Ruiz) had some big hits, and (Ryan) Clinch's hit with the bases loaded was the key part to that big inning. Against a ground ball pitcher, he was able elevate one and hit one to the outfield to score two.”
“We had a script of how we wanted to use our pitchers tonight.” Jarrett continued, “There are a lot of guys that are working hard and looking for an inning to come along. I thought for the most part, we executed. (Jack) Maynard got us out of a jam in the middle. That was an important momentum keeping moment for us. (Jake) Lewis gave us a good start, (Brandon) Stephens was strong, (Easton) Welch was very effective. (Alex) Sova made some mistakes but got through it and (Michael) Bates gave us a good look from that sidearm slot. That's a good win, I'm proud of the way we played.”
Eight pitchers combined to allow just seven hits to the Elon Phoenix. Jake Lewis (Wendell, N.C./Corinth Holders) got the start. The sophomore went 2.0 innings, allowing one hit and striking out two, earning the victory. Jack Maynard (Crozet, Va./Patrick Henry CC) logged 2.0 innings, allowing just one hit and striking out seven. He entered with the bases loaded and no outs and limited Elon to just one run.
Eight starters notched hits in the win, with six going for multiple hits. Andrew Moritz (Charlotte, N.C./Providence) tallied three hits an RBI and a run scored. Cesar Trejo (Greensboro, N.C./Ragsdale) added a 2-for-4 performances with three RBI and scored twice. Trejo hit his team-leading eighth home run of the year. Tripp Shelton (Winston-Salem, N.C./West Forsyth) and Ryan Clinch (Jamestown, N.C./Brunswick CC) both drove in a pair.
The Spartans jumped out to a big lead in the second inning. With one out, four-consecutive singles loaded the bases and drove in two on Clinch's single. Ben Spitznagel (Cincinnati, Ohio/Wabash Valley CC) laid down a sacrifice bunt to move runners into scoring position and a Shelton double brought both in. Moritz singled into left field before a two-run homer from Cesar Trejo (Greensboro, N.C./Ragsdale) capped the inning. UNCG led 7-0, on seven hits in the second frame.
Elon got a run back in the bottom of the fourth inning. After a lead off single, a hit by pitch put runners on first and second. A fielder's choice moved runners to the corners before Cam Devanney hit a sacrifice fly to center field for the first Phoenix run of the day.
UNCG added to its lead in the top of the fifth, scoring two runs. Trejo walked and came around to score on a single from Caleb Webster (Randleman, N.C./Randleman). Austin Embler (Southern Pines, N.C./Pinecrest) singled to put runners on first and second. Devin Ruiz (Pennsauken, N.J./Paul VI) singled through the right side to drive in Webster and put the Spartans up 9-1.
The Phoenix took advantage of three walks to load the bases, but only scored once on a sacrifice fly from Ryne Ogren to cut into the Spartan lead at 9-2.
UNCG tacked on a run in the top of the sixth inning. Shelton singled and came around to score on Webster's second base hit of the day.
Elon cut into the lead in the eighth. With runners on the corners, Devanney hit into a 6-4-3 double play that allowed Ty Adcock to score and cut the lead at 10-3.
The Blue and Gold return to action this Friday at 6 p.m. at Gray-Minor Stadium as the Spartans take on the VMI Keydets in a three-game Southern Conference series.