NASHVILLE, Tenn. – After seeing a five-run cushion disappear in the ninth inning, UNCG baseball put together a six-run rally to win its seventh-straight game Saturday evening in Nashville. Cesar Trejo (Greensboro, N.C./Ragsdale) hit a grand slam in the 13th inning before Austin Embler (Southern Pines, N.C./Pinecrest) drove in two more to secure the 13-9, 13-inning win over the Lipscomb Bison. UNCG improves to 14-4 on the season. Lipscomb falls to 8-11.
“That was an exceptional win by a very resilient group.” Head coach Link Jarrett said, “Bouncing back from a very difficult ninth inning to find a way to win in 13 with Cesar (Trejo)’s grand slam made this an unforgettable day. (Ryan) Clinch had a great game, (Dillon) Stewart had some very great at bats. (Jack) Maynard, (Easton) Welch and (Jake) Lewis back up a quality start behind (Bryce) Hensley. Great win today.”
Bryce Hensley (Asheville, N.C./Catawba Valley CC) started his fifth game of the season Saturday afternoon. The senior went 5.0 innings, allowed three hits, two earned runs and struck out three hitters in a no-decision. Jack Maynard (Crozet, Va./Patrick Henry CC) came on in the sixth. Maynard went 3.0 innings, allowing just two hits without giving up a run and striking out four.
Andrew Wantz (Holly Springs, N.C./Holly Springs) came on for the ninth. The senior gave up five hits, five runs and struck out one hitter. The five runs given up are the most in an appearance for Wantz since a 3.1 inning outing against ETSU last April.
Easton Welch (Randleman, N.C./Gardner-Webb) came on with two runners on in the ninth inning in a tie game. After getting a ground out, a walk loaded the bases before he got a pop up to retire the side. Welch tossed a total of 1.1 innings, without allowing a hit or a run. Jake Lewis (Wendell, N.C./Corinth Holders) threw the final 3.1 innings, scattering two hits, surrendered two runs in the 13th inning and struck out a game-high five hitters.
The Spartan lineup racked up 19 hits in the victory. Dillon Stewart (Coats, N.C./Brunswick CC) led the charge with a 4-for-7 performance, driving in three runs, scoring three times and hitting his fourth homer of the season. Trejo continues his torrid start as he went 3-for-6 with four RBI, and a run scored as he hit a grand slam in the top of the 13th inning.
Embler added a 3-for-6 performance with three RBI, three runs scored and a triple. Ryan Clinch (Jamestown, N.C./Brunswick CC) went for three hits and scored a run. Andrew Moritz (Charlotte, N.C./Providence) finished 2-for-4 with an RBI and scored three times.
The Spartans got on the board in the top of the third inning. Clinch singled with one out to get the rally going. Embler followed with a triple to drive in one. After a hit by pitch, Moritz lifted a fly ball to deep centerfield to allow Embler to score and put UNCG up 2-1.
Lipscomb got a run back in the top of the fourth inning, taking advantage of a hit batter and a walk to put the first two hitters of the inning on base. After Blake Thomas stole third, Zeke Dodson lifted a fly ball to left field to bring in the run. Hensley got out of the jam by getting Jeffrey Crisan to hit into the 6-4-3 double play to end the threat.
Stewart answered back in the top of the fifth. Embler singled and Stewart hammered his fourth home run of the season to put UNCG up 4-1.
The Bison cut the lead in half in the fifth inning. Maddux Houghton connected on a one-out single to start the inning before stealing second. Coleman Goodwin pinch-hit and the move paid off as the pinch hitter singled to drive in one to cut the lead to 4-2.
Moritz got rallies going in the seventh and ninth innings. He led off with a single and went first to third on a Trejo single before scoring to go up 5-2 in the seventh. With an out in the ninth, Moritz doubled down the left field line before scoring on a Stewart single. After a fly out, Josh Madole (Hampstead, N.C./Topsail) singled to drive in Stewart to go up 7-2.
The Bison rallied in the bottom of the ninth, scoring five runs to tie the game up. A hit by pitch and a walk put two on with one out before back-to-back doubles scored three runs. After a Martinez double put runners in scoring position, Thomas and Cade Sorrells each connected on RBI singles to tie the game at 7-all.
After three scoreless innings, Trejo broke open the tie game in the top of the 13th. Embler and Moritz drew walks before a Stewart single set the stage for UNCG’s leading RBI man. Trejo hammered a 2-1 pitch out of the ballpark to put UNCG up 11-7. Embler added a two-RBI single with the bases loaded to extend the lead to 13-7.
Lipscomb battled back in the bottom of the 13th, scoring two runs but couldn’t complete the comeback.
The Spartans are back in action tomorrow as they look for the sweep of Lipscomb at 1 p.m. at Ken Dugan Field.