GREENSBORO, N.C. – Junior Andrew Moritz continued to find the caverns in the UNCG Baseball Stadium Tuesday night as the junior connected on two more triples to bring his season total to eight. The Spartans dropped the midweek matchup with the Wake Forest Demon Deacons, 11-9 as Moritz tied the single season record for triples in a season with Nicky Phillips who set the record in 1996. Moritz has tripled four times in the last two games and now owns the career record and is tied with the single season and triples in a game record.
The Spartans fall to 26-10 on the season, while Wake Forest improves to 18-20.
On the mound, redshirt sophomore Jake Mayhew got his second start against Wake Forest this season. Mayhew worked 3.2 innings, allowing four hits, an earned run and struck out two. Easton Welch worked 2.1 innings, allowing a pair of hits and an unearned run. Dan Loats came on to work the top of the seventh inning. Loats went a third of an inning, and allowed two runs.
Andrew Wantz was next out of the bullpen. Wantz logged 2.2 innings, allowing a season-high eight hits and five runs with three strikeouts as Wake Forest tied it up. Jeremiah Triplett suffered the loss, throwing 2.0 innings, allowing three hits and two earned runs while picking up a strikeout.
The Spartan offense connected for 14 hits in the contest, led by a 4-for-5 performance from Moritz. Moritz finished with an RBI, two runs scored and two triples in the loss. Caleb Webster added a 2-for-5 game with two RBI and scored twice. Dillon Stewart and Tripp Shelton each added a pair of hits and scored a run. Stewart connected on his first triple of the year in the first inning.
“(Jake) Mayhew did a nice job tonight.” Head coach Link Jarrett said, “He navigated his start and got us through the lineup twice which was what we were hoping he could do. Other than the walks, he pitched well. He has to execute and put the ball on the corners and move it around and change speeds and he did. Easton (Welch) came in and gave us a couple solid innings. (Andrew) Wantz done so many big things for us throughout the years and he’ll have more big outings. Its tough to see a guy with that character and that caliber go through an outing when it just wasn’t quite clicking and we couldn’t get over the hump. Jeremiah (Triplett) came in and had one of his longer outings of his career and we needed him to eat up some game and he did. Unfortunately, he’d probably like to have that 3-2 pitch back.”
“Offensively, tonight was more indicative of what we’re able to do.” Jarrett continued, “We hit a lot more line drives and didn’t strikeout much or hit any of those lazy fly balls that we seem like we’ve been doing recently. (Andrew) Moritz had a big night again and (Caleb) Webster had a big at bat there in the middle of the game to open the lead up a little bit, but we couldn’t hold it. It’s a really tough loss, we just have to shake it off and get ready for this weekend.”
Wake Forest jumped ahead early with a solo home run from Jake Mueller in the top of the first inning.
The Spartans responded in their half of the first inning. With one out, Webster and Moritz each went down 0-2 before working walks. Cesar Trejo drove another 0-2 pitch down the line in right field for an RBI double. Zach Kuchmaner ground out to first but it allowed a run to score as UNCG took the 2-1 lead. Stewart followed with a triple off the batter’s eye in center field to score Trejo and put the Spartans up 3-1.
UNCG added a solo run in the bottom of the third. After Moritz hit his first triple of the game, Trejo drove a sacrifice fly to right field to add to the lead. The bottom of the order got things rolling in the fourth. Stewart was hit by a pitch and moved up after a Shelton single. Josh Madole was hit by a pitch to load the bases for Embler who ground out to first to score one and move the runners up. Webster followed with a single to left center field to score two. Moritz hit a chopper over the first baseman’s head and wheeled his way to third for his second triple and gave UNCG the 8-1 lead.
UNCG added an unearned run in the bottom of the fifth inning. With two outs and runners on the corners, Shelton executed a delayed steal and the throw to second base sailed into the center field allowing Kuchmaner to score.
Wake Forest cut into the lead scoring runs in the sixth, seventh and eighth innings. The sixth inning saw Wake Forest add a run on a sacrifice fly. The seventh inning saw the first three batters reach, two via hit. One of the two hits was an RBI double from Shane Muntz. With the bases loaded, The Demon Deacons added another on a bases loaded fielder’s choice to cut the lead to 9-4. A sacrifice fly from Muntz cut the lead down to 9-5 in the eighth.
The Demon Deacons continued their comeback in the ninth inning. Wake Forest scored four runs in the top of the ninth on six hits to tie the game up at nine and send it into extra innings. Wake Forest forged ahead thanks to a two-run double off the bat of Chris Lanzilli to go up 11-9 in the 11th.
UNCG is back in action this weekend as the Spartans will host the Samford Bulldogs in a matchup of two of the top teams in the Southern Conference beginning at 6 p.m. Friday night.