GREENSBORO, N.C. – The Spartan offense had a big game one and cruised to a 13-5 victory to open the doubleheader Saturday afternoon. UNCG came back to grind out a 5-2 win in the nightcap, led by 5.2 strong innings from relievers Jack Maynard (Crozet, Va./Patrick Henry CC) and Andrew Wantz (Holly Springs, N.C./Holly Springs). The Spartans improve to 11-4 on the season, with Lafayette falling to 6-9.
“We got good starting pitching today.” Head coach Link Jarrett said, “In game one, Bryce (Hensley) did a really nice job getting in there and setting the tone for the day. When you can have a starter give you seven strong innings to open a doubleheader, that sets up your bullpen for the rest of that day. In the second game, (Jake) Mayhew gave us a good start and we were able to get (Jack) Maynard back into the game after an extended outing at Elon earlier this week. We had our bullpen in good shape as we were able to turn it over to (Andrew) Wantz at the end.”
“Their pitchers did a pretty nice job.” Jarrett continued, “In the second game, it wasn’t the extra base hits, but luckily our short game factored in. The push bunts to the right hand side against their big lefty really helped us get some offense going. This wasn’t a game with a lot of extra base hits, but the short game and the base running really helped us get this one done. The middle of the order did an outstanding job today. They had quality at bats all day and that really helped us to get our offense going.”
Bryce Hensley (Asheville, N.C./Catawba Valley CC) got the start on the mound in the first game. The senior went 7.0 innings, allowing eight hits, two earned runs and struck out a season-high 11 hitters. Alex Hoppe (Clinton, Iowa/Clinton) was first out of the bullpen. Hoppe tossed a scoreless eighth inning without allowing a hit. Alex Sova (Midland, Mich./Kellogg CC) started the ninth, giving up three runs in a third of an inning before giving way to Jeremiah Triplett (Wilkesboro, N.C./West Wilkes). Triplett struck out both hitters he faced.
Game two saw Jake Mayhew (Winston-Salem, N.C./West Forsyth) start pitching. Mayhew went 3.1 innings, scattering four hits, two earned runs and striking out five hitters. Maynard was first out of the bullpen, stranding a pair of inherited runners and working a total of 3.2 innings, fanning six hitters and allowing just one hit. Wantz came on in the eighth inning, working 2.0 innings with two strikeouts.
The middle of the order got the job done all day as the 3-4-5 hitters combined to go 16-for-24 with nine runs scored and five RBI. Andrew Moritz (Charlotte, N.C./Providence) combined to go 6-for-9 with two runs scored and three of RBI. Dillon Stewart (Coats, N.C./Brunswick CC) added a 5-for-7 day with five runs scored and Cesar Trejo (Greensboro, N.C./Ragsdale) finished 5-for-8 with two runs and a pair of RBI. Tripp Shelton (Winston-Salem, N.C./West Forsyth) added a pair of RBI in game two.
UNCG wasted no time to get on the board in game one, scoring six runs in the bottom of first. Austin Embler (Southern Pines, N.C./Pinecrest) led off with a walk and came around to score on a Moritz single. Stewart singled to put runners on the corners before a balk scored Moritz and moved Stewart to second. Trejo singled to put runners on the corners for Shelton who drew a walk to load the bases. Josh Madole (Hampstead, N.C./Topsail) drew the walk to score another before Ryan Caveness (Greensboro, N.C./Guilford Tech) drove one in with a ground out. An error scored the sixth run of the frame as the Spartans took a 6-0 lead.
The Spartans added to their lead in the second inning, scoring four runs on three hits. Trejo added an RBI single and a passed ball allowed the second runner to score. Caveness stepped in and delivered a two RBI single to left center to go up 10-0.
Lafayette cut into the lead in the top of the third by virtue of a Patrick Nelson two-RBI single.
The Spartans extended their lead back to ten in their half of the inning. With the bases loaded, a double play allowed the first run of the inning to score before Madole stepped in and delivered an RBI single to put UNCG up 12-2. UNCG took advantage of an error in the fourth inning. With one-out, Embler reached on a two-base error by the right fielder and advanced to a fly ball to right. Moritz chopped a ball to second base to drive in Embler and extend the lead to 13-2.
The teams went scoreless over the next four innings before Lafayette scored three runs in the top of the ninth inning.
UNCG scored an unearned run in the first inning to take a lead in game two. Webster a base hit bunt and swiped second before moving up on a Moritz single. Trejo hit a chopper to short that was mishandled and allowed Webster to score to give UNCG the 1-0 lead early.
The Spartans added to their lead in the bottom of the third. Moritz and Stewart led off with singles before Trejo drove in a run with a double to right field. Shelton laid down a safety squeeze to bring in Stewart and extend the lead to 3-0.
Lafayette cut into the lead, scoring two runs. Marti led off with a single and scored on a Spencer Rouse double. Trey Durrah singled to bring in Rouse and cut the lead to 3-2.
UNCG added an insurance run in the bottom of the seventh. Stewart led off with a single and went first to third on a single from Trejo. Shelton drove in Stewart after his chopper up the middle ricocheted off the Lafayette pitcher and the shortstop handled it to throw him out. UNCG led 4-2 headed to the eighth inning.
Wantz allowed just one hit over the final two innings of work as he earned his fifth save of the season.
The Spartans are back in action Tuesday as they host the Elon Phoenix at 4 p.m. at the UNCG Baseball Stadium.