GREENSBORO, N.C. – After sweeping the Mercer Bears over the weekend, the Spartan offense was limited in its production Tuesday night against the Winthrop Eagles. The Spartans pushed across two runs in a 6-2 loss to fall to 34-12 on the year. Winthrop improves to 22-25.
Redshirt sophomore Jake Mayhew got the start on the hill. The right-hander threw five innings, scattering five hits, allowing three runs, one earned and struck out four before giving way to the bullpen. Jeremiah Triplett was first in relief. Triplett logged 3.1 innings, allowed three hits and struck out a career-high six hitters. Easton Welch recorded the final two outs, each by virtue of a ground ball.
Offensively, UNCG managed eight hits, with Austin Embler, and Jake Kusz going 2-for-4 and 2-for-3, respectively. Josh Madole and Caleb Webster added RBI. Andrew Moritz extended his reached base streak to 39 games with a single in the bottom of the ninth.
“It was great to see Jeremiah (Triplett) go out there and pitch that way with that kind of velocity.” Head coach Link Jarrett said, “Offensively we never were able to muster enough or string anything together, it just wasn’t a well-played offensive game. Winthrop’s lefties pitched really well. They ran into some balls, every mistake we made today showed up to bite us. (Jake) Mayhew pitched well enough, it was a quality start. There were some pitches he’d like to have back, but he got us three double plays and we handled it. Offensively, as good as we were this weekend, we didn’t have it in the cards today and couldn’t find a way to answer their pitchers. They did a good job. They played solid defense and they beat us.”
Winthrop took the lead in the top of the second inning. After a lead off double from Dillon Morton, a single put runners on the corners before a double play allowed the runner from third to score. The Eagles tacked on two unearned runs in the top of the fifth. After a two-base error put the lead off runner on, Mayhew picked up a pair of outs before Ryan Watson hit a home run out to left field to put Winthrop up 3-0.
UNCG got on the board in the bottom of the sixth inning. Embler connected on a two-out single and moved up on a passed ball. Webster followed with a two-strike single to right field to drive in a run and cut the lead to 3-1. The Spartans narrowed the gap again in the bottom of the eighth inning after Kusz doubled to lead off the frame. He was replaced by pinch runner Greg Hardison. A sacrifice bunt moved Hardison to third before Madole ground out to the right side to bring the run in.
The Eagles jumped on the Spartans in the top of the final inning to double their score. With one out, Mitch Spires connected on a solo home run before back-to-back singles from Morton and Tyler Halstead put two on. After a ground out to first moved the runners up, Hunter Lipscomb connected on a single to center to drive in two and put Winthrop up, 6-2.
UNCG put two runners on in the bottom of the ninth, but couldn’t bring anything around.
The Spartans return to the field this weekend as they head to Charleston for a Southern Conference matchup with the Citadel Bulldogs.