Hensley Dominates as Baseball Defeats Maryland Eastern Shore, 4-2
GREENSBORO, N.C. – Bryce Hensley (Asheville, N.C./Catawba Valley CC) earned his first victory of the season on Saturday afternoon against the Maryland Eastern Shore Hawks. Hensley shut down the Hawks for 7.0 innings, scattering three hits and striking out eight batters. UNCG improves to 4-6 on the season, while Maryland Eastern Shore falls to 0-7.
“Bryce (Hensley) pitched a great ball game, and Chad (Sykes) came in and shut it down, and when you pitch that way, and play sound defense, you’re going to be in every game.” Head coach Link Jarrett said, “Offensively, we weren’t really in sync, we didn’t have much going on. It was one of those games where it was going to be decided on pitching and defense. Two nights in a row now (Austin) Embler has delivered a big hit for us.”
“Maryland Eastern Shore did a good job containing our running game, their pitchers did well, the catcher did a great job on a back-pick, they did a good job to hold us in check.” Jarrett continued, “I’m proud of the way we pitched it today. That’s probably Bryce’s best outing here, and back-to-back outings for Chad. We didn’t extend him last night so we were comfortable bringing him back out. We feel good about having (Matt) Frisbee on the hill tomorrow. We have to be ready to go tomorrow, it’s going to be a dogfight.”
Hensley started on the hill against the Hawks. The junior southpaw tied a career-best in both innings pitched and strikeouts. Hensley (1-2) threw 7.0 innings, striking out eight batters; scattering three hits and allowed just one unearned run. Chad Sykes (2) earned the save, throwing 2.0 innings in relief, fanning one hitter.
Austin Embler (Southern Pines, N.C./Pinecrest) led the offense, going 2-for-3 with a two RBI double in the seventh inning. Andrew Moritz (Charlotte, N.C./Providence), Michael Goss (Cartersville, Ga./Chattanooga State CC), and Cesar Trejo (Greensboro, N.C./Ragsdale) all added one hit each.
The Hawks plated a run in the first inning. After a lead off walk to Jamison Somerville, a fielder’s choice from Ryan Rotondo kept a runner at first. UNCG got a pop up on the infield that was misplayed and fell in, allowing Rotondo to take third. Dominic DeBlasie doubled down the left field line to score Rotondo and give the Hawks the early advantage.
UNCG knotted the game in the bottom of the second. Dillon Stewart (Dunn, N.C./Brunswick CC) walked and moved to second after a Goss sacrifice bunt. After stealing third, a wild pitch allowed Stewart to score and tie the game up at one apiece.
Trejo helped UNCG take the lead in the bottom of the sixth. He led off with a walk and advanced to second on an Embler sacrifice bunt. Trejo moved to third as Caleb Webster (Randleman, N.C./Randleman) ground out and scored when Eastern Shore failed to handle a ground ball from Ryan Clinch (Jamestown, N.C./Brunswick CC), bringing in the go-ahead run.
The Spartans were able to pull away in the bottom of the seventh, plating a pair of runs on a bases loaded double from Embler.
UNCG and Maryland Eastern Shore are back at it tomorrow, with first pitch at 1:00 p.m. at the UNCG Baseball Stadium.