GREENSBORO, N.C. – Redshirt sophomore Jake Mayhew (Winston-Salem, N.C./West Forsyth) earned his first win in his first career start Tuesday night at the UNCG Baseball Stadium. The Spartans earned a 13-8 victory over the Oakland Golden Grizzlies in the first midweek contest of the season, and the first-ever meeting between the two programs. UNCG improves to 3-1 on the season, with Oakland falling to 1-4.
“It was really nice to see (Jake) Mayhew get his first win.” Head coach Link Jarrett said, “(Ryan) Caveness got his first start and had some great at bats and caught well. We swung the bats well early, and they went quiet late. Oakland did a nice job of battling back, couple home runs and we aided their base running efforts with some freebies there in the last half of the game.”
“Easton (Welch) did a great job at the end of the game.” Jarrett continued, “He did a good job sinking the baseball and using his slider. It’s a win and you move on. We didn’t play a good second half of the game. First half we played really well, second half we weren’t sharp, but at the end of the day you’re happy with the result we got.”
Mayhew got his first collegiate start Tuesday night and went a career-high 5.0 innings, scattering four hits, one earned run and struck out four batters as he earned the win. Alex Hoppe (Clinton, Iowa/Unity Christian) was first out of the bullpen, going one-plus innings. He allowed two hits, three runs and struck out a batter in his collegiate debut.
Jake Lewis (Wendell, N.C./Corinth Holders) came on in relief of Hoppe, going 1.0 inning, allowing one hit and striking out a batter. Jeremiah Triplett (Wilkesboro, N.C./West Wilkes) made his season debut, going two-thirds of an inning with one strikeout. Jack Ponder (Candler, N.C./Enka) got out of the eighth inning by picking off a runner at second base. Easton Welch (Randleman, N.C./Gardner-Webb) worked his third game out of the bullpen, throwing a perfect ninth inning with a strikeout.
At the plate, six starters had multi-hit games, led by sophomore Ryan Caveness’ (Greensboro, N.C./Guilford Tech) 3-for-4 performance. Caveness drove in a run and scored twice in his Spartan debut. Caleb Webster (Randleman, N.C./Randleman) and Andrew Moritz (Charlotte, N.C./Providence) each went 2-for-4, with Moritz driving in a pair and scoring once. Dillon Stewart (Coats, N.C./Brunswick CC) added a 2-for-3 performance with two doubles, two RBI and a run scored.
Cesar Trejo (Greensboro, N.C./Ragsdale) had another multi-hit effort, going 2-for-4 and scored twice. Josh Madole (Hampstead, N.C./Topsail) added to his hot start to his career, going 2-for-4 with two RBI and scored once.
UNCG got on the board in the bottom of the first inning. Austin Embler (Southern Pines, N.C./Pinecrest) led off with a four-pitch walk and moved up after a Webster singled back up the middle. Moritz drove a pitch back through the box to score one. Stewart added to the lead after sending a ball down the third baseline for a hustle double, allowing a run to score.
The Spartans added to their lead in the second inning. Caveness singled through the left side before moving to second after a Madole walk. Embler laid down a sacrifice bunt to put both in scoring position for Webster who lined a shot to the shortstop who’s attempt to double up the runner at third was wide allowing Caveness to score and give UNCG a 3-0 lead.
Oakland cut into the Spartan lead in the top of the third as Ben Hart drove a solo homer to left field.
UNCG got the run back and then added to its lead the following inning. Tripp Shelton (Winston-Salem, N.C./West Forsyth) walked and moved to third after Trejo doubled down the left field line. Ryan Clinch (Jamestown, N.C./Brunswick CC) drove a fly ball to deep left field allowing Shelton to score and Trejo to move up. Caveness followed with a single to third base to score Trejo and give UNCG a 5-1 lead.
The Spartans added to their lead in the bottom of the fourth scoring seven runs on seven hits. Shelton hit his first homer of the season in the frame, a two-run blast to left field. After four innings, UNCG led 12-1.
Oakland took advantage of three walks a single and a double to score three runs in the top of the seventh to cut the lead down to 12-4. The Golden Grizzlies added four more in the top of the eighth on a three-run homer from Blake Griffith and an RBI double from Myles Zilinisky.
UNCG tacked on an insurance run in the bottom of the eighth with an RBI single from Madole.
The Spartans are back in action Friday night as they travel to Knoxville, Tennessee for a three-game series with the Tennessee Volunteers.