CHARLESTON, SC – Second baseman Tim Carrier’s game-ending triple play in the top of the ninth gave fifth-seeded UNC Greensboro an 8-6 victory over sixth-seeded Georgia Southern in the Southern Conference Tournament Friday afternoon at Joe Riley Park.
With the bases loaded and no outs, Justin Klinger lined out to Carrier, who then proceeded to step on second and throw out the runner at first to turn the first ever triple play in UNCG history.
“We were in a jam and knew we had to get out to hold the lead. He (Klinger) hit the line right to me and I instinctively went to second. I was about to go to third but Matt (Gaski) was yelling one and I saw Ricky (Orton) standing there so I went to him for the triple play,” said Carrier. “It was awesome.”
Brandon Harvey (1-0) earned his first career win, giving up just two runs on six hits in six innings of relief for UNCG. Freshman Alex Shelton picked up his second save of the season after pitching one inning on the mound.
Kyle Kampii (4-3) took the loss after allowing two runs on four hits in four innings of work.
GSU (34-28) grabbed an early 2-0 lead in the top of the first off a two-run home run by Mike Economos. Chris Shehan led-off with a single before Economos hit the roundtripper to rightfield, his tenth of the season. The Eagles added another run in the second on a RBI hit by Shehan to take a three-run advantage.
Matt Miller led-off the third for GSU with a solo shot to rightfield, giving the Eagles a 4-0 lead. GSU had the bases loaded with one out in the same inning but the Spartan defense turned a double play to get out of the jam.
UNCG (30-29) put a run on the board in the third to cut GSU’s lead to three. Adam Deleo and Sam Martin recorded back-to-back singles and two batters later, Matt Gaski loaded the bases with a hit to right. Guy Welsh drew a 3-1 walk to plate Deleo.
The Eagles quickly responded in the fourth when Matt Miller picked up a RBI two-bagger, making it 5-1 GSU. The Spartans cut into the Eagle lead in the same inning when Sean Snell smacked a two-run homer to right.
Snell gave the Spartans their first lead of the game in the fifth when he sent his second four-bagger of the afternoon to right-center. Ricky Orton and Greg Feltes recorded back-to-back singles before Snell hit his team-leading seventh homer to give UNCG a 6-5 advantage. The Eagles, however, tied the game at six a piece in the sixth with a Kyle Blackburn sacrifice fly.
The Spartans pushed across two runs in the eighth to take a 8-6 lead. Carrier advanced on an Eagle error and stole second before Welsh belted a three-bagger to the rightfield corner, allowing Carrier to score. Orton followed with a hit to center that plated Welsh to give UNCG the two-run lead.
Snell finished 3-for-4 with five RBI and two home runs to lead UNCG behind the plate. Welsh tallied two hits and two RBI, while Orton and Deleo each recorded two hits for the Spartans.
UNCG will face the winner of No. 2 Elon/No. 4 Appalachian State tonight at approximately 7:30 pm. The game will be shown on Spartan All Access and SoCon.TV.
R H E
Georgia Southern.... 211 101 000 - 6 13 1
UNC Greensboro...... 001 230 020 - 8 12 0
Pitchers: UNCG – Gilliam; Harvey (3); Shelton (9)
Pitchers: GSU – Wilkerson; Cogswell (5); Kamppi (7)
Win – Brandon Harvey (1-0) Save – Alex Shelton (2) Loss – Kyle Kampii (4-3)
- UNCG -