UNCG completes another dramatic comeback to secure series sweep
GREENSBORO, N.C. – Freshman Zach Leach was at the plate for the second-straight game with the Spartans trailing in the bottom of the ninth with the bases loaded and this time he delivered a bases-clearing double to dead center to complete an eight-run comeback as UNC Greensboro defeated Cleveland State, 10-9, on Sunday afternoon at the UNCG Baseball Stadium.
It marked the first time since 2005 that the Spartans have swept their season opener. Over the three-game series, UNCG was able to outscore Cleveland State 17-3 in the final two innings.
Wes McBride pitched a scoreless ninth inning for second-straight day to pick up the win as he moved to 2-0 on the year, while Tim Clark allowed seven runs in 2 2/3 innings of work to pick up the loss.
Corey Overholtzer continued his impressive weekend for the Spartans (3-0) as he finished 3-4 at the plate with a pair of RBI and three runs scored. Lloyd Enzor also had a nice afternoon as he went 3-5 for two RBI and two runs scored.
The Vikings (0-3) were led by their 4-5-6 hitters as they each went 2-4 with Kyle Schaffer picking up three RBI.
The Spartans continued their late-game heroics on Sunday to overcome what seemed like an insurmountable deficit. After a strikeout to lead off the ninth inning, pinch-hitter Brad Raynor and Eric Brindle delivered back-to-back singles to put runners on first and second. Drew Gehringer then laid down a sacrifice bunt to move the runners into scoring position before a single by Overholtzer through the left side scored Raynor and pulled UNCG within 9-5.
A wild pitch by Clark then allowed Brindle to score and move Overholtzer up to second. Enzor followed with a single to center field that let Overholtzer score to make it a 9-7 game. Ed Jayjack was issued a five-pitch walk before Clark was pulled from the game in favor of Nate Blankemeyer. Blankemeyer issued a four-pitch walk to Ray Quinones to load the bases before Leach belted a 1-1 pitch to the warning track in dead center that just went off the tip of the glove of the outstretched Viking center fielder.
Things started well though for the Spartans as Overholtzer delivered a double down the left field line in the first inning and Enzor followed with a single up the middle to give UNCG an early 1-0 lead.
The Vikings would get it right back though as Bob Suitca led off the top of the second with a towering home run that went over the scoreboard to tie the game at one.
UNCG responded in the bottom half of the second as Chris Barker delivered a one-out single to left field. Kris Richards followed with a single to right field and Brindle made it three-straight singles as he scored Barker from second on a drive to right center to give the Spartans a 2-1 lead.
The Spartan lead didn't last for long though as Cleveland State exploded for five runs in the top of the fourth. Back-to-back singles by the Vikings led off the inning before a groundout put runners on second and third. Kyle Shaffer singled through the left side to score two as the Vikings took a 3-2 lead. Josh Lowe followed with a massive two-run home run to left field to make it 5-2 in favor of the visitors. The Spartans would surrender another run later in the inning to give the Vikings a 6-2 lead.
Cleveland State stretched their lead out to 9-2 in the top of the eighth as Tyler Wynn led off with a double and Suitca followed with a RBI single up the middle. Schaffer followed with a triple to left center that scored Suitca from first. Shaffer scored later in the inning on a passed ball.
UNCG began its rally in the bottom of the eighth as Overholtzer led off the inning with a home run over the left field wall that right fielder Vince Marquard just missed bringing back. Enzor then hit a triple off the wall in center field and later scored on a Quinones sacrifice fly.
The Spartans return to the diamond on Tuesday as they make the short trip down I-40 to face No. 11 North Carolina at 3 p.m.
UNC Greensboro 10, Cleveland State 9
Cleveland State….... 010 500 030 - 9 10 0 (0-3)
UNC Greensboro...... 110 000 026 - 10 15 2 (3-0)
Pitchers: Cleveland State - DICK, Nate; SHEDLOCK, Pat (4); CLARK, Tim (7); BLANKEMEYER, Nate (9) and SHAFFER, Kyle. UNC Greensboro - Matt Parish; Colby Hyatt (4); Wes McBride (9).
Win-Wes McBride (2-0) Loss-CLARK, Tim (0-1) T-2:29 A-244
HR: CSU - SUITCA, Bob; LOWE, Josh.
HR: UNCG - Corey Overholtzer.
Weather: 62 and sunny
BLANKEMEYER faced 2 batters in the 9th.
- UNCG -