HIGH POINT, N.C. – UNCG baseball got to the High Point starter early, scoring two runs in the top of the first inning, but couldn’t get the pitching performance that the Spartans have grown accustomed to this season. UNCG issued 13 free passes, 10 of which came in the first two innings as the Panthers went up 8-2 after the first two frames. With the loss, UNCG falls to 24-8 on the season, while High Point improves to 18-14. Each team won on its home field this season as the team’s split the two meetings. Over the last three seasons, UNCG and High Point are even at 3-3.
“A tough day today.” Head coach Link Jarrett said, “We had some good at bats to start the day to drive in some runs, but we weren’t effective on the mound. We didn’t give ourselves a chance. When we finally settled things down, our offense didn’t have any consistency in our approach and the quality of the at bat just wasn’t good. Unfortunately some of the guys who have been waiting for chances to get on the mound didn’t execute. It was a tough day.”
“There were a few guys at the plate that had good days.” Jarrett continued, “Devin (Ruiz) has been working hard to get an opportunity and made the most of it with a couple nice hits. (Andrew) Moritz played a good ballgame, but it was scattered. We never consistently threatened. Games like that are tough. I feel like we’re a much better team than how we played tonight. But we didn’t pitch it well and we didn’t execute at a high level offensively. We have a couple days to get it right before we get ETSU at home this weekend.”
Dan Loats started on the mound for UNCG. Loats worked just two-thirds of an inning, walking three hitters, allowing three runs, two earned and striking out one. Jake Mayhew was first in relief. The sophomore threw 3.1 innings, allowed five earned runs on three hits, walked five and struck out four before giving way to Trey Kissack.
Kissack worked the fifth inning, allowing five runs on five hits but struck out the side. Jeremiah Triplett was next in. Triplett went 2.0 innings, allowing just one hit and walked one hitter as he struck out two and didn’t allow a run. Jack Ponder worked the eighth, giving up a solo home run and picked up a strikeout.
UNCG scattered 11 hits throughout the contest. Junior Andrew Moritz led the way with a 3-for-3 performance. Devin Ruiz and Caleb Webster each added two hits and scored a run. Trejo added two RBI in the win and Austin Embler drove in a run in the ninth.
The Spartans got the scoring going early, plating two runs in the top of the first inning. Webster and Moritz each legged out infield hits to put runners on first and second for Cesar Trejo. Trejo got out in front of an off-speed pitch but was able to muscle it down the left field line for a double and scored Moritz from first base as the Spartans took at 2-0 lead.
High Point took the lead in the home half of the inning without the virtue of a hit. The Panthers were selective at the plate as UNCG issued three walks and hit two Panthers as HPU plated three on a bases loaded walk, a sacrifice fly and a passed ball.
The Panthers added to their lead in the second, scoring five runs on three hits. High Point took advantage of some erratic pitching as UNCG walked three hitters and put another on with a hit by pitch. Hunter Lee drove in two with a bases loaded double before two infield hits and a sacrifice fly gave high Point the 8-2 lead.
HPU added to its lead in the fifth, scoring five runs on five hits to take a commanding 13-2 lead. The Panthers added a solo home run in the eighth inning.
UNCG scored two in the ninth, getting three-straight singles to open the frame and score Zach Kuchmaner on an Embler single. Ruiz scored on a passed ball, but a double play foiled the comeback bid.
The Spartans are back in action this weekend as they host the ETSU Bucs in a three-game series at the UNCG Baseball Stadium.