MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. – Junior RHP Max Povse (Cary, N.C./Green Hope) threw the second complete game of his career Sunday as UNCG topped Minnesota 4-1 at the Chanticleer Classic inside TicketReturn.com Field at Pelicans Ballpark. The Spartans improve to 6-7 overall with the victory while the Golden Gophers drop to 7-5.
In going the distance, Povse (2-1) gave up just one run on five hits with two walks and three strikeouts. He retired the final eight batters of the contest and limited Minnesota to just five singles. Povse’s first complete-game effort occurred last season in a 12-0 UNCG victory at College of Charleston in a Southern Conference contest.
Junior infielder Jordan McDonald (Perth, Australia/Chattanooga State) recorded two RBI on his only hit that turned out to be the winning runs in the game. Junior outfielder Zac MacAneney (Gibsonville, N.C./Virginia Tech), junior outfielder L.J. Kalawaia (Wailuku, Hawai’i/Ohlone College) and senior infielder Sean Guite (Huntington Beach, Calif./Irvine Valley CC) each recorded multi-hit games with two hits apiece. Kalawaia rapped out a pair of doubles while Guite tallied one. Guite and freshman catcher Jake Kusz (Durham, N.C./Riverside) also chipped in with a RBI each.
With the Spartans acting as the visiting team, MacAneney led off the contest with a single through the left side and moved to second on a groundout by redshirt sophomore outfielder Nin Marrero (Greensboro, N.C./Western Guilford) before reaching third on a passed ball. Redshirt freshman infielder Julian Abreu (Miami, Fla./Florida Christian) then drew a walk to put runners on the corners with one away. However, junior infielder Hunter King (Mason City, Iowa/Northern Iowa Area CC) was robbed of a base hit on a leaping catch by Connor Schaefbauer at second and McDonald hit into a fielder’s choice play to terminate the threat.
Minnesota put on a threat of its own in the bottom of the second, putting runners at second and third after a stolen base by Michael Handel, but Povse fanned David Bettenberg looking to escape any damage.
Kusz lifted a single to left field to start the top of the third and would reach second on a passed ball. MacAneney struck out for the first out before Marrero flew out to right field. Kusz advanced to third base on an infield single by Abreu, but King popped up to second base to end the inning.
Povse recorded a quick two outs in the bottom of the third, but he then walked two consecutive batters. That would come back to bite him as Mark Tatera singled up the middle and drove in Dan Olinger from second base to make the score 1-0. Povse would pick off Tatera at first to end the inning and keep the Golden Gopher lead at one.
The Spartans tied the game at one in the top of the fourth thanks to a RBI single by Guite that scored Kalawaia from second. Kalawaia put himself in scoring position with a one-out double to left field. Guite reached second after a bunt by junior outfielder Nick Chapman (Morganton, N.C./Patton), but Kusz struck out swinging to end the frame.
More two-out trouble plagued Povse in the bottom of the fourth as a walk and base hit put Minnesota runners at the corners, but he induced a groundout by Schaefbauer to end the inning.
UNCG finally forged ahead in the top of the eighth. MacAneney led off with a single up the middle and moved to second on a sacrifice bunt by Marrero. Abreu then flied out to left field before King drew a walk. A wild pitch moved the runners to second and third and that would be critical as McDonald looped a single into right field scoring both MacAneney and King to give the Blue and Gold the 3-1 advantage.
The Blue and Gold tacked on a run in the top of the ninth frame when Guite doubled to lead off and moved to third base on a sacrifice bunt by Chapman. Kusz then executed a perfect squeeze bunt that easily scored Guite and pushed the UNCG cushion to 4-1. Povse retired Minnesota in order in the bottom of the ninth to seal the victory.
The Spartans will close out their participation in the Chanticleer Classic Monday with a 4 p.m. contest against host Coastal Carolina.