Baseball Ends Season With Extra-Inning Loss To Furman
CHARLESTON, S.C. – Furman scored two runs in the bottom of the 11th inning Tuesday to capture a 6-5 victory in the first play-in game of the Southern Conference Baseball Championship at Riley Park.
Down to its last strike in the top of the ninth, UNCG rallied to tie the score at four when junior Hunter King (Mason City, Iowa/Northern Iowa Area CC) recorded a RBI single through the right side. The Spartans even took the lead in the top of the 11th off a sacrifice fly by junior Eric Kalbfleisch (Pilot Mountain, N.C./North Stokes) but the Paladins plated the two runs on three hits and two UNCG errors to seal the victory.
King paced the Spartan offense with four hits in six at bats while also accounting for a run scored and a pair of RBI. Kalbfleisch and juniors Zac MacAneney (Gibsonville, N.C./Virginia Tech) and Jordan McDonald (Perth, Australia/Chattanooga State) tallied a pair of hits apiece as both squads ended up with 15 base knocks. Hunter Burton and Greg Harrison notched three-hit performances to lead Furman.
Freshman Adam Swim (Greensboro, N.C./Northwest Guilford) took the loss for UNCG after giving up a run on two hits in a third of an inning pitched. Alex Abrams picked up the victory for the Paladins despite blowing a save opportunity in the top of the ninth. He threw three innings and allowed six hits that led to two earned runs.
Furman looked to run away with the game early, scoring three runs on three hits and a Spartan error in the bottom of the first inning. Harrison and Abrams produced respective RBI hits while the third run crossed the plate thanks to a wild pitch. The Paladins would extend their lead to 4-0 in the bottom of the second on an infield single by Jake Jones.
UNCG fought back in the top of the fourth, taking advantage of two bases-loaded walks as part of a three-run inning. A RBI single by King was responsible for the first run of the frame while redshirt freshman Julian Abreu (Miami, Fla./Florida Christian) and freshman Jake Kusz (Durham, N.C./Riverside) drew the bases loaded free passes.
The Spartans had a chance to tie or take the lead in the sixth, but a double play with the bases loaded killed the inning for UNCG. In all, the Blue and Gold left 12 runners on base.
A single by MacAneney and a walk by Kalbfleisch saw the Spartans with runners at first and second with two away in the top of the ninth and a wild pitch advanced both runners to set up King’s game-tying single.
UNCG ends its season with a 21-28 record but returns virtually its entire lineup for the 2015 campaign.
Follow the UNCG baseball team all year long by logging onto www.uncgspartans.com and following the Spartans’ official Twitter feeds @uncgsports/@uncgbaseball.