Goss Hits His Seventh Homer of the Season as Baseball Falls to The Citadel
GREENSBORO, N.C. – Michael Goss (Cartersville, Ga./Chattanooga St. CC) belted his seventh home run of the season and Jack Maynard (Crozet, Va./Patrick Henry CC) struck out seven of the nine batters he faced as the Spartans fell to The Citadel Bulldogs, 5-2 Friday afternoon at the UNCG Baseball Stadium. The Citadel's JP Sears threw 8.0 innings, limiting the Spartans to four hits and struck out 11 batters. UNCG falls to 28-19 on the season and 11-8 in Southern Conference play. The Citadel improves to 15-30 and 6-13 in SoCon action.
“(Jack) Maynard was exceptional out of the bullpen today, and (Bryce) Hensley gave us a chance to stay in it and win that game.” Head coach Link Jarrett said, “We didn't defend well in some areas and the bottom of their lineup in the fourth inning hurt us. We finally popped (JP) Sears, and he pitched great. His fastball has life, he commands it extremely well and mixes his secondary pitches to keep you off balance. (Michael) Goss was able to tie the game up on the home run to left field, I didn't think it was possible to hit one out to left today but he did.”
“We were very sloppy in the top of the fourth.” Jarrett continued. “We didn't defend the short game well, we had two untimely walks in that sequence and we allowed them to jump back out. When they stretch that lead with Sears on the mound, and if they have enough in their bullpen to close it down, its tough to beat them. Our backs were against the wall today, we never really had the momentum other than Goss's swing. Our right handed hitters were fairly quiet, and our lefties battled, but we got beat by a good arm and weren't good enough defensively to hold it close.”
The Spartan offense could only manage four hits against The Citadel. Austin Embler (Southern Pines, N.C./Pinecrest) led charge with a 2-for-3 performance. Ben Spitznagel (Cincinnati, Ohio/Wabash Valley CC) went 1-for-4 with a run scored. Goss provided the pop in the Spartan offense, going 1-for-4 with a two-run home run in the third inning.
Bryce Hensley (Asheville, N.C./Catawba Valley CC) started on the mound. The junior went 6.0 innings, allowing six hits, five runs; three earned and struck out nine batters as he suffered his sixth loss of the season. Maynard came on strong in relief, retiring all nine batters he faced, seven via the strikeout.
The Bulldogs were able to draw first blood, driving in two runs in the top of the third inning. Taylor Cothran led the frame off with a double and came around to score on a William Kinney double. With runners on second and third, a wild pitch brought in the following Bulldog run to give The Citadel a 2-0 advantage.
UNCG answered the Bulldog rally with two runs of its own in the bottom of the third. Spitznagel legged out an infield single and came around to score when Goss hammered a home run to left field.
The Citadel rallied back to regain its lead, scoring three runs in the top of the fourth frame. Shy Phillips legged out an infield single to start. A walk and a throwing error scored a run and put runners on the corners. After another walk, a fielding error on a Jonathan Sabo ground ball allowed two to score, but the ricochet off the UNCG third baseman was handled by the shortstop who was able to throw back to the third baseman for the second out. With the bases loaded, Hensley struck out Jeffrey Brown to keep the score at 5-2, Bulldogs.
After the fourth inning, the pitching staffs took over. The Citadel retired 18-straight UNCG batters and the UNCG pitching staff retired 15-straight with 10 strikeouts.
The Spartans and Bulldogs resume action tomorrow afternoon 3 p.m. at the UNCG Baseball Stadium. Prior to the beginning of tomorrow's action there will be a pregame ceremony honoring the seniors of both teams.