GREENSBORO, NC – UNC Greensboro seemed to be cruising with a 3-1 lead, but Western Carolina rallied for four runs in the fifth inning and added three more in the ninth as the Catamounts won, 9-4, on Saturday afternoon at the UNCG Baseball Stadium.
Catamount reliever Garrett Ozar was credited with the loss after he came into the game in the fifth inning for Western Carolina (29-17, 15-7 SoCon) and allowed just one hit in 3 2/3 innings of work. Leadoff hitter Trevor Collias paced the Catamounts at the plate with a 3-3 effort with three RBI and two runs scored on the afternoon.
UNCG starter Greg Martin picked up the loss for the Spartan (16-25, 4-17) after allowing five runs (four earned) on four hits in five innings.
The Spartans hopped out to an early 1-0 lead in the first inning after Drew Gehringer hit a single up the middle with one out in the inning. He stole second before moving over to third on a wild pitch and scored later in the inning on Pedro Leon's RBI single through the left side.
UNCG was able to extend its lead to 2-0 in the bottom of the second. Raymond Frias was hit by a pitch to lead off the inning and advanced to second on Alex Frederick's sacrifice bunt. Brent O'Berry then hit a two-out single to center field to score Frias from second.
The Catamounts responded in the top of the third inning with a run of their own to narrow the lead to 2-1. Matt Johns hit a double off the batter's eye in center field to lead off the inning. He would score later in the inning on a sacrifice fly by Collias.
Frias led off the fourth inning for the Spartans with a single up the middle before advancing to second on a Kris Richards sacrifice bunt. O'Berry then came through with his second two-out RBI single to center field to extend the Spartans lead to 3-1.
It appeared as if the Spartans were cruising but they ran into trouble in the top of the fourth inning. J.C. Lyons doubled to right center to lead off the inning and moved to third on a groundout. After the Catamounts were issued back-to-back walks to load the bases, Collias was hit by a pitch to walk in a run. Nick Liles hit a sacrifice fly to score another run before Ross Heffley hit a two RBI double down the right field line to put the Catamounts ahead, 5-3.
UNCG answered with a run in the bottom of the fourth to narrow the deficit to, 5-4. With one out, Leon drew a four-pitch walk before moving to third on Rob Gilliam's single to center field. Trevor Edwards followed with an RBI single through the right side to score Leon.
After the Catamounts extended their lead to 6-4 in the seventh inning, they tacked on three more in the top of the ninth. With one out, Collias recorded his third hit of the afternoon, but this one was a home run over the left field wall for a solo home run. After Liles singled to left, Ross Heffley hit a line drive over the wall in right center for his fourth home run of the season.
The Spartans and Catamounts will wrap-up the series on Sunday at 1 p.m. at the UNCG Baseball Stadium.
Western Carolina 9, UNC Greensboro 4
Western Carolina…... 001 040 103 - 9 9 0 (29-17)
UNC Greensboro.......110 110 000 - 4 9 2 (16-25)
Pitchers: UNC Greensboro – Greg Martin, Warren Slack. Western Carolina – Corey Martin, Gerrett Ozar, Andrew Blackwell.
Win- Garrett Ozar (3-4) Loss- Greg Martin (1-7) T-2:39 A-374
HR: Western Carolina: Trevor Collias (8), Ross Heffley (4)
- UNCG -