GREENSBORO, NC – UNC Greensboro starting pitcher Ryan Falcon notched his first win as a starter since Apr. 1 and the Spartans never trailed en route to a 5-3 win over rival Elon Friday evening at UNCG Baseball Stadium to even a three-game series at one game apiece.
Falcon (3-2), a native of Rougemont, NC, was nothing short of dominant on the hill as he allowed just three runs (two earned) on six hits while striking out eight and walking but one in 6-2/3 innings of work.
Senior Patrick Currin came on in the ninth and allowed just one hit as the Chapel Hill, NC product earned his eighth save of the season. Currin’s path to the save wasn’t easy as he loaded the bases with two outs. Jordy Snyder led off with a single through the left side and pinch hitter Patrick Irvine was hit by a pitch in the next at-bat to put the first two runners on. Paul Bennett moved both runners up a base with a sac bunt, but John Weaver was unable to drive anyone home as he popped up to second base for the second out. Currin then hit Donny Jobe on the first pitch to load the bases, but struck Chris Vasami out swinging with a nasty breaking ball to secure the win for the Spartans.
Elon starter Matt Chastain (9-2) took the loss after being touched for five runs on eight hits in six innings of mound duty.
UNCG (24-30, 13-13 SoCon) tallied a pair of runs in the bottom of the first inning to gain an early 2-0 advantage. Greg Feltes singled to right-centerfield to start things and came around to score two batters later when Jermaine Mitchell singled through the right side for his 35th RBI of the season. Guy Welsh followed with a single through the left side before Brandon Harvey plated Mitchell from third with a successful safety squeeze bunt groundout to the pitcher.
Elon (41-14, 20-6 SoCon) cut the deficit in half with a run in the top of the third on an RBI groundout off the bat of Vasami.
The Spartans answered with two runs in the bottom of the fifth on an RBI double from Feltes and an RBI single from rightfielder Sean Snell to take a three-run lead.
Vasami struck again in the top of the sixth when the first baseman led off the frame with a towering home run over the left-centerfield wall. Elon cut it to one at 4-3 in the following inning as the Phoenix capitalized on a fielding error on the Spartan infield to plate a two-out run.
Feltes gave the Spartans a much needed insurance run in the bottom of the seventh when he singled home Roly Gonzalez, who singled to start the inning, for his second RBI of the night.
From that point on Greg Martin and Currin combined to limit the Phoenix to just one hit over the final two frames.
Feltes led the Spartans with three hits while Mitchell, Snell and Gonzalez each chipped in with a pair.
UNCG and Elon put the finishing touches on a three-game series with the rubber game scheduled to begin Saturday evening at 6 p.m. from UNCG Baseball Stadium.
UNC Greensboro 5, Elon 3 (May 19, 2006 at Greensboro, NC)
Elon................ 001 001 100 - 3 7 0 (41-14, 20-6)
UNC Greensboro...... 200 020 10X - 5 10 1 (24-30, 13-13)
Pitchers: Elon - Chastain; Regan(7). UNC Greensboro - Ryan Falcon; Greg Martin(7); Patrick Currin(9).
Win-Ryan Falcon(3-2) Save-Patrick Currin(8) Loss-Chastain(9-2) T-2:27 A-352
HR ELON - Vasami.
Chastain faced 1 batter in the 7th.
- UNCG -