GREENSBORO, N.C. – Taking a two-run lead into the top of the ninth Friday evening, the UNCG bullpen could not hold on to the advantage as Furman scored 10 runs over the final two innings to record a 15-7, 10-inning victory in the Southern Conference opener for both squads at the UNCG Baseball Stadium.
Due to forecasted inclement weather in the Triad area, the teams will wrap up the series with a doubleheader tomorrow beginning at 1 p.m.
The Paladins (9-13, 1-0 SoCon) out-hit the Spartans (10-11, 0-1 SoCon) 18-14 and took advantage of four UNCG errors while committing two themselves. Only five of Furman’s 15 runs ended up being earned.
Freshman RHP Adam Swim (Greensboro, N.C./Northwest Guilford) took the loss for the Blue and Gold as he dropped to 1-1 on the season. He threw one inning, giving up two runs (none earned) on one hit. Alex Abrams improved his record to 3-1 with the win for the Paladins as he pitched the final two innings allowing no runs on two hits with a walk and three strikeouts.
Redshirt junior outfielder Zac MacAneney (Gibsonville, N.C./Virginia Tech) paced the offense, going 2-for-4 with two runs scored and a RBI. He was one of five Spartans to record a multi-hit performance. Junior infielder Jordan McDonald (Perth, Australia/Chattanooga State) also extended his hitting streak to 14 games with a single to lead off the bottom of the eighth. Leadoff hitter Hunter Burton led Furman, going 4-for-7 with three runs scored.
After both teams scored two runs on three hits in the first inning, UNCG took its first lead in the bottom of the third frame. With two outs and junior infielder Hunter King (Mason City, Iowa/Northern Iowa Area CC) at second base, redshirt freshman infielder Julian Abreu (Miami, Fla./Florida Christian) poked a single through the left side to plate King and make it a 3-2 game.
The squads traded runs in the sixth inning, leaving the Spartans with a 4-3 advantage, but the Paladins answered in the top of the seventh – scoring on a balk and a sacrifice fly to push ahead 5-4.
UNCG put on a rally of its own in the bottom of the eighth with two outs. A RBI single by redshirt sophomore outfielder Nin Marrero (Greensboro, N.C./Western Guilford) and a RBI double by Zac MacAneney put the Spartans in front 6-5 and a wild pitch would then plate MacAneney for an insurance run.
Furman received a leadoff double from Burton in the top of the ninth before he scored on a RBI double by Chris Ohmstede to pull the Paladins within a run. Then, Greg Harrison tied the game with a sac fly before Jake Jones grounded out to short to end the inning with the score knotted at seven.
The Blue and Gold failed to score in the bottom of the ninth and the Paladins exploded for eight runs on six hits and two UNCG errors to put the game away.