HIGH POINT, N.C. – The trio of Austin Koehn, Corey Jackson and Chad Sykes combined for 16 strikeouts and allowed six hits to help the UNCG baseball team earn its third win of the season in 6-2 fashion at High Point on Tuesday evening.
Koehn, making the first start of his collegiate career, surrendered just three hits, one walk and two runs (one earned) in 4.2 innings on the mound. He was followed by Jackson, who picked up the first win of the season, after tossing 2.1 innings, allowing two hits and striking out six of the 10 High Point batters he faced. Sykes came out of the bullpen to close out the final two innings, recording five strikeouts along the way.
Five Spartan hitters had at least two hits in the game, including Ryan Caveness, who finished 2-for-5 from the plate with three RBI, all of which came on a home run in the first. The other multi-hit performances came from Greg Hardison (2-5, run), Austin Embler (2-4), Josh Madole (2-5) and Hogan Windish (3-4, RBI, 2 runs, HR). Windish not only slammed the first home run of his career, but he also stole three bases in one inning, including home, to record his only run of the game.
“A well played game,” said head coach Link Jarrett of his team’s performance. “Austin Koehn in his first did exactly what he had done in the fall and the preseason to lead up to that point to get the opportunity to go out and start. We felt like he was prepared to go out today and it was even better with the fastball velocity than it was in some of our scrimmages. His breaking ball came and went, but it was enough to get him off the fastball.
“Caveness caught a great game, to manage and receive, and get some pitches,” added Jarrett. “Obviously Caveness at the plate with the three-run homer early got us going. Hogan Windish, you don’t see someone steal second, third and home very often. To see him also get his first home run was really nice as well. I am very proud of the way that we played.”
Hardison lead off the with a single for the Spartans, moving into scoring position on a grounder by Embler. Two batters later, with Caleb Webster on first after being hit by a pitch, Caveness blasted a three-run home run over the left field wall for the early UNCG lead.
UNCG picked up its fourth run of the game in the second, again on a home run, when Windish lifted a leadoff home run over the left field wall for the 4-0 advantage.
High Point put the first run across the plate in the fourth when Joe Johnson roped a single to left, scoring Travis Holt from second, who reached on a double. The second Panther run came in the fifth inning as a result of Trent Harris reaching base on a fielder’s choice. Two batters later, with Harris at second, Tanner Wells sent a single up the middle to cut the Spartan advantage to 4-2.
Caveness added his second hit in the game in the top of the eighth, reaching on a single into left field. Zach Kuchmaner reached on a throwing error, which moved Caveness to third in the process, with no outs. David Flores plated Caveness from third with a sacrifice into right field, extending the Spartan lead to 5-2.
Windish kept the inning alive with his third hit of the day, a single up the middle, stealing second with Jacquez Koonce at the plate. As Koonce reached, WIndish stole third, putting runners at the corners with two outs. After a High Point pitching change, Koonce and Windish converted a double steal for the sixth UNCG run of the day.
UNCG returns home to host Virginia Tech for a three-game set that begins on Friday, Feb. 22 at 4 p.m.