GREENSBORO, NC – Ricky Orton’s walk-off home run in the 11th gave UNC Greensboro an 8-7 victory over The Citadel in game one of a Southern Conference doubleheader on Sunday afternoon at UNCG Baseball Stadium. The Bulldogs used a late surge to take a 10-3 win over the Spartans in game two.
With two-outs and nobody on in the bottom of the 11th, Orton knocked his fourth roundtripper of the season over the right-center wall to give UNCG the win. Orton, who was 0-for-5 on the day, extended his hitting streak to 16 games with the blast.
The Citadel (25-21, 9-12 SoCon) got on the board early and took the 2-0 lead in the top of the first. Sonny Meade and Zach Brown recorded back-to-back two-out singles before Richard Jones sent a double to right-center to bring both home.
UNCG (25-23, 11-10 SoCon) responded in the same inning with three runs to take the one-run lead. Tim Carrier extended his hitting streak to 13 games after the junior led off with a single and advanced to second when Guy Welsh drew a walk. Carrier scored on a Bulldog error and Welsh came home on a sacrifice fly from Greg Feltes. Sean Snell sent a RBI single through the left side to give the Spartans the 3-2 advantage.
The Spartans added a run in the fifth on a wild pitch and followed with a two-run sixth inning to take the 6-2 lead. Adam Deleo and Corey Overholzter recorded back-to-back RBI singles to put UNCG up by four. The Bulldogs, however, plated three runs and pulled within one in the seventh. Jones drove home two runs with his second two-bagger of the day. Matt Arnold laced a single up the middle to score Jones, making it 6-5 in favor of the Spartans.
Jones evened the score with his third RBI double of the day in the ninth. The Citadel recorded the go-ahead run after Arnold grounded to UNCG shortstop Matt Gaski, who fired it home to catcher Deleo in what appeared to be a tag on Brown. Deleo, however dropped the ball in the attempt to tag, giving the Bulldogs to one-run lead. UNCG third baseman Welsh sent the game into extra innings after he pushed across the tying run with a single to right field in the bottom of the ninth.
Nick Starnes (4-3) was credited the win for the Spartans after pitching a scoreless and hitless 11th. Starter Matt Gibbs pitched 6-2/3 innings on the mound and struck out a game-high four batters.
Link Saunders (5-3) took the loss after allowing two runs on three hits in 2-2/3 innings of relief for The Citadel.
Carrier went 3-for-6 with three runs scored, while Welsh and Brandon Harvey recorded two hits each.
The Citadel prevented the series sweep and took game two, 10-3, to snap a six-game losing streak.
The Spartans struck for a run in the first to take the early one-run advantage. Welsh sent a two-out double down the rightfield line and scored on an Orton two-bagger, which brought Orton’s hitting streak to 17 games. The Spartans picked up another run in the third, extending their lead to 2-0. Overholtzer recorded his second triple of the season before coming home on a wild pitch.
The Bulldogs tied the game in the fourth as Chris Swauger opened with a single to right. After Meade earned a walk, Zach Brown loaded the bases with a hit through the left side. Swauger came home on a wild pitch and Meade scored on a sacrifice fly by Jones.
UNCG added a run in the fifth to retake the lead off a Gaski RBI fielder’s choice. The Citadel answered back after Swauger tripled to lead-off the seventh and scored on a Meade groundout.
The Citadel exploded for four runs in the eighth to take its first lead of the game and go up 7-3. Chance Smith scored the go-ahead run on a Meade single. Two batters later and with the bases loaded, Jones drew a walk and was followed by a RBI single from Arnold. Kyle Jordan earned another bases loaded walk to plate in the fourth run of the inning.
Jones gave the Bulldogs the 10-3 advantage after he sent a two-out, three-run homer over the right-center fence. The Citadel catcher drove in five runs in the contest to lead the Bulldogs from behind the plate.
Bulldog freshman starter Matt Reifsnider (3-2) earned the win after allowing just three runs on six hits in seven innings of the work.
Starnes (4-4) suffered the loss after giving up four runs in 2-1/3 innings on the mound. Freshman starter Alex Shelton struck out a game-high three batters in five innings of work.
Carirer extended his hitting streak to 14 games after he finished 2-for-4 on the day. Overholtzer went 2-for-3 with two runs scored.
UNCG returns to the diamond when it hosts the ACC’s Duke Blue Devils on Wednesday beginning at 6 pm.
R H E
The Citadel......... 200 000 302 00 - 7 13 1
UNC Greensboro...... 300 012 001 01 - 8 12 2
Pitchers: UNCG – Gibbs; Judd (7); Starnes (11)
Pitchers: The Citadel – Crim; Copenhaver (6); Sprowls (6); Saunders (9)
Win – Nick Starnes (4-3) Loss – Link Saunders (5-3)
R H E
The Citadel......... 000 201 043 - 10 11 1
UNC Greensboro...... 101 010 000 - 3 7 0
Pitchers: UNCG – Shelton; Starnes (6); Gilliam (8);
Martin, G (9)
Pitchers: The Citadel – Reifsnider; Maxwell (8)
Win – Matt Reifsnider (3-2) Loss – Nick Starnes (4-4)
- UNCG -