NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Freshman Greg Hardison (Greenville, N.C./JH Rose) got his first start as the designated hitter Sunday afternoon and lived up to the name. Hardison went 4-for-4 with a double as the Spartans dropped the finale of the three-game series with the Lipscomb Bison, 3-2. The loss snaps UNCG’s seven-game winning streak and puts UNCG at 14-5 on the season. Lipscomb improves to 9-11 with the win.
“(Dan) Loats had a nice start today and it was great to see him compete so well.” Head coach Link Jarrett said, “Offensively we came up short as Thompson (Lipscomb) held us in check. (Greg) Hardison had a great day at the plate. (Dillon) Stewart put us up early with a home run, but we never clicked as a group, offensively.”
Dan Loats (Eden Prairie, Minn./NIACC) got his first Sunday start of the season against the Bison. Loats went 5.0 innings, allowing just three hits, one walk and struck out two without allowing a run. Jake Mayhew (Winston-Salem, N.C./West Forsyth) was first out of the bullpen. Mayhew worked the top of the sixth, recording an out but giving up two earned runs and a hit.
Easton Welch (Randleman, N.C./Gardner-Webb) came on to close out the sixth. In total, Welch threw 1.0 innings, giving up one run and suffering the loss. Jack Maynard (Crozet, Va./Patrick Henry CC) worked the final 1.2 innings, allowing just one hit and striking out a batter.
Hardison led the Spartans at the plate, going 4-for-4 with a double. Austin Embler (Southern Pines, N.C./Pinecrest), Cesar Trejo (Greensboro, N.C./Ragsdale) and Ryan Caveness (Greensboro, N.C./Guilford Tech) each added a hit with Caveness’ being a double. Dillon Stewart (Coats, N.C./Brunswick CC) finished 1-for-4 and hit his team-leading fifth home run of the season.
The Spartans got on the board first as Stewart hammered the 1-0 offering to left field for a solo home run to lead off the second inning. UNCG doubled its lead in the fifth. Caveness led off with a one-out single before Hardison singled to left to put runners on the corners. Embler laid down the squeeze bunt to score Caveness and give UNCG the 2-0 lead.
Lipscomb took advantage of a hit by pitch in the sixth to get a rally going. Cade Sorrells doubled to left center to drive in the first Bison run of the day. Jeffry Crisan followed with a double of his own to trade places and tie the game a 2-2. The next inning Lipscomb took the 3-2 advantage by virtue of a Tevin Symonette solo home run.
The Spartans put runners on in the eighth and ninth innings, but couldn’t bring them in. UNCG stranded nine base runners in the contest.
UNCG is back in action Wednesday at First National Bank Field as it will host the North Carolina A&T Aggies in a cross-town matchup.