GREENSBORO, N.C. – Freshman Greg Hardison (Greenville, N.C./JH Rose) made the most of his second-straight start as the freshman went 3-for-5 with a pair of doubles, a triple, three RBI and scored twice as UNCG defeated the Marist Red Foxes 11-1 Friday night at the UNCG Baseball Stadium. After not scoring in the first three innings, UNCG was able to score in every inning that followed, and scored multiple runs in the final four innings. With the win, UNCG improves to 6-3, while preseason Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference favorite Marist falls to 0-6.
“The way the game started, I don’t think it was indicative of how it ended.” Head coach Link Jarrett said, “We played much better at the end of the baseball game. “Their starting pitcher did a nice job. He was effective, he used three pitches and mixed it. Offensively we didn’t have a lot going on for the first half of that ballgame, but (Matt) Frisbee was able to record three 1-2-3 innings in a row. Our defense, especially at third base was very strong. Caleb (Webster) made some really nice plays for us. (Greg) Hardison put together some really good at bats tonight. It was good to see him drive the ball the way he was able to. We were able to do some things offensively to open it up late and got ourselves out to a comfortable lead.”
Matt Frisbee (Candler, N.C./Enka) was dominant on the hill Friday night. The junior right-hander went 7.0 innings, allowing just four hits, one earned run, two walks and struck out eight hitters. Easton Welch (Randleman, N.C./Gardner-Webb) was first out of the bullpen, working a clean eighth inning with a strikeout. Jake Lewis (Wendell, N.C./Corinth Holders) worked the ninth, not allowing a hit and struck out a batter.
“We got a great start from (Matt) Frisbee tonight. The seventh pitch of the game was hit out, but he recovered and pitched extremely well.” Jarrett continued, “Easton (Welch) pitched effective out of the bullpen again, and (Jake) Lewis had a good ninth inning. They have a very good team and we have two more tough games coming.”
The Spartan offense combined for 16 hits, led by Austin Embler (Southern Pines, N.C./Pinecrest), Cesar Trejo (Greensboro, N.C./Ragsdale) and Hardison. Embler finished 4-for-6 with two RBI and scored three times. Trejo drove in four runs for the third time this season, finishing a 3-for-4 and a home run short of the cycle. Hardison went 3-for-5 with two doubles, a triple, three RBI and scored twice.
Marist got on the board in the top of the first inning after a Frankie Gregoire solo home run.
The Spartans tied the game up in the bottom of the fourth. Trejo doubled and moved to third on a wild pitch. Josh Madole (Hampstead, N.C./Topsail) got the job done with a ground out to score Trejo and tie the game at one.
UNCG took the lead in the bottom of the fifth inning. With one out, Embler and Caleb Webster (Randleman, N.C./Randleman) hit back-to-back singles before a walk to Dillon Stewart (Coats, N.C./Brunswick CC) loaded the bases. Trejo ripped a triple over the right fielder’s head to bring in all three runners to put UNCG up 4-1.
The Spartans added to their lead in the bottom of the sixth inning. Jake Kusz (Durham, N.C./Riverside) singled before being pinch ran for by Zach Kuchmaner (Charlotte, N.C./Marvin Ridge). Kuchmaner stole second and came around to score on a Hardison double to right. The Spartans added another run loading the bases for Trejo who legged out an infield single.
UNCG tacked on five more runs in the final two innings. Hardison drove in Kuchmaner with a double and scored when Embler doubled. Webster drove in Embler with single for three runs in the seventh inning. Hardison drove in Madole who reached via walk with a triple to center field before scoring on an Embler single to go up 11-1 after eight innings.
The Spartans and Red Foxes are back in action tomorrow at 2 p.m. at the UNCG Baseball Stadium.