GREENSBORO, N.C. – UNC Greensboro’s Colin Best earned his first win of his collegiate career on Tuesday evening as the Spartans claimed a 9-3 victory over visiting Winthrop at the UNCG Baseball Stadium.
Best (1-0) scattered four hits and one run over 5.2 innings of work, surrendering three walks and striking out five Eagle hitters along the way as UNCG posted its 23rd win at home this season. Best gave way to Corey Jackson, who faced five batters and finished with three strikeouts and two walks in an inning.
Jeremiah Triplett took over in the seventh, where he allowed two hits and recorded three strikeouts to the six Winthrop hitters he faced. Brandon Stephens came out of the UNCG bullpen in the ninth, where he faced seven batters, allowed one hit and two runs.
The Spartan offense, which enjoyed its fifth straight double-digit hit performance, had four players finish with multi-hit games. Coleman Sawyer wrapped up the game 2-for-4 with an RBI and two runs as he recorded his first home run of the season. Jacquez Koonce extended his hitting streak to 11 games, finishing 2-for-4 from the plate with an RBI and a run scored.
Zach Kuchmaner, hitting fifth in the UNCG (32-16) lineup, closed out the game 2-for-5 with two RBI and a run scored following his fifth triple of the season. Caleb Webster finished 2-for-5 with a run scored, posting his 18th multi-hit game of the slate.
The Spartans put their first two runs of the game on the board in the bottom of the first after Webster reached on a two-out single to right field to continue the inning. Two batters later, with Madole at first following a walk, Kuchmaner tripled off the right field wall to provide UNCG with the 2-0 lead.
The second multi-run frame of the game for the Spartans came in the second as Zack Budzik connected on a two-out single to left to keep the second inning alive. Greg Hardison followed with a double to right, plating Budzik for the third run, before coming home on a single up the middle by Austin Embler that resulted in a 4-0 UNCG advantage.
UNCG capitalized on two hits and a walk to open the bottom of the third, loading the bases for Jacquez Koonce. Koonce delivered in the clutch with a single to right, scoring Kuchmaner for the fifth run. A wild pitch moved both Koonce and Coleman Sawyer into scoring position, while Ryan Caveness trotted home from third for the 6-0 lead.
Budzik added the third run of the fourth on a sacrifice fly to left field before a grounder to short by Hardison plated Koonce for the 8-0 edge.
Winthrop put its first run of the game on the board in the fourth and after holding the Spartans scoreless for three innings, Sawyer ended the drought with a home run blast to right field that resulted in a 9-1 UNCG lead.
The Eagles would add two more runs in the top of the ninth on a sacrifice fly by Hunter Lipscomb and a single by Dillon Morton to make for the six-run UNCG win.
UNCG completes the regular season with a three-game series with Wofford that begins on Thursday, May 16th.
UNCG-WINTHROP FAST FACTS
-UNCG is now 12-9 in 21 meetings with the Eagles.
-Spartans improve to 23-5 at home on the season.
-UNCG has now had at least 10 hits in 23 games this season, topping the double-digit hit mark in its last five straight games. The streak began against ETSU (10 hits / May 5), VMI (17 / May 10), VMI (11 / May 11), VMI (11 / May 12).
-Colin Best, who finished with five strikeouts against the Eagles, becomes the 10th different UNCG pitcher to record at least one five-strikeout game on the season. The others are Jeremiah Triplett, Jack Voigt, Corey Jackson, Austin Koehn, Jake Mayhew, Austin Parsley, Phillip Sanderson, Brandon Stephens and Chad Sykes.
-Eleventh time in the 2019 season that UNCG has scored at least eight runs in a game at UNCG Baseball Stadium.
-Pinch hitter David Flores has his first hit for the Spartans since April 20th, when he finished 1-for-2 from the plate in the second game against Samford.
-Jeremiah Triplett has had at least two strikeouts in his last three outings for the Spartans.