GREENSBORO, N.C. – Cesar Trejo delivered a pair of clutch base hits, including the eventual game-winning hit in the sixth inning as UNCG baseball snapped the nation’s third-longest winning streak Friday night. The Samford Bulldogs entered the night having won 13-straight games and nine in Southern Conference play. UNCG improves to 27-10 and 8-2 in SoCon play with the win, taking over first place in the SoCon standings. Samford falls to 24-15 and 10-3 in league action.
Matt Frisbee got the start on the mound. Frisbee tossed six innings, allowing nine hits, five earned runs and struck out nine hitters. Jack Maynard was called on for the three-inning save. The senior allowed just two base runners, one hit and a walk and he struck out four hitters to preserve the win. This is his eighth save of the season, tying him for third-most in a season in school history.
Cesar Trejo led the Spartan offense with a 3-for-5 performance. He finished the day with four RBI, tying a season-high. Caleb Webster added a 2-for-3 performance with a pair of RBI and scored once. Josh Madole continued to turn the lineup over, hitting in the ninth spot of the order. Madole finished 2-for-3 with a walk and scored two runs.
“That was a really good ballgame.” Head coach Link Jarrett said, “(Matt) Frisbee’s start wasn’t as sharp as he’s used to. He got to his breaking ball a little more, but that’s what he had to do to pitch and compete tonight. (Jack) Maynard came on to close it out like we’ve seen him do before. Samford’s a good team and I’m very proud the way we played tonight.”
“Cesar (Trejo) had a great ballgame. He had two really key base hits that drove in four runs.” Jarrett continued, “There were a lot of things throughout the course of the game that were very important tonight. Caleb (Webster) had a very key base hit, and I thought we kept the pressure on them all night. We had a lot of traffic on the bases. Cesar carried us offensively tonight and had a really good night. His two-strike at bat was probably one of his best at bats since he’s been here against (Josh) Rich who has a really tough breaking ball. To hit a line drive off that breaking ball with two strikes to finally put us up for good was a very impressive at bat for him. He’s a talented player, and it showed today.”
Samford pushed a pair of runs across in the first two innings. With one out, Troy Dixon doubled and came around to score on an Austin Edens single. The second inning saw Max Pinto lead off with a triple to right field before scoring on a Taylor Garris sacrifice fly to right to take the 2-0 lead.
Freshman Madole got a rally started in the bottom of the third inning, singling up the middle before Austin Embler drew a walk to put to on. After a sacrifice bunt moved the two into scoring position, Samford loaded the bases by hitting Andrew Moritz. Trejo came up clutch, driving a 1-0 pitch through the left side to tie the game at two.
The Spartans took the 3-2 lead in the bottom of the fourth inning, snapping a streak of over 70 innings in which Samford led its opponents. Ryan Clinch led off with a single the opposite way and moved to second when Madole followed suit. Webster drove a 1-1 pitch back through the box to score one and take the lead.
The lead was short lived as Samford led off the fifth inning with a single before Brooks Carlson hit a two-run homer to put the Bulldogs up 4-3. The Bulldogs tacked on another run in the top of the sixth inning. Anthony Mulrine singled and stole second before scoring on a Sam Teague single.
UNCG rallied again in the bottom of the sixth inning. Tripp Shelton led off the frame with a triple down the line in right field before Madole walked to put runners on the corners. Embler tapped a grounder to the second baseman who couldn’t handle the play, allowing Shelton to score and putting runners on first and second. Webster followed by looping a single to right field to drive in Madole. Trejo delivered again, with runners on second and third, he singled to centerfield to drive in two and give UNCG the 7-5 lead.
The Spartans and Bulldogs are back in action tomorrow at 3 p.m. for the second game of this three-game series.