Gilliam's Gem Leads Baseball To Shutout Over Albany
GREENSBORO, N.C. – UNCG sophomore right-hander Lee Gilliam (Chapel Hill, N.C./Chapel Hill) tossed a career-high 7.0 scoreless innings leading the Spartans to a 9-0 shutout over Albany Saturday afternoon at the UNCG Baseball Stadium. The shutout was the first of the season for the Spartans and their first since blanking Penn State last year (3/26/12).
Gilliam turned in his career-best pitching effort to picking up his first win of the season, surpassing his previous high of 6.0 innings which he set last weekend against Dayton. He only allowed three base runners on the afternoon as he limited the Great Danes to three hits while striking out two batters.
The Spartans' offense pounded out 14 hits as five different starters recorded two hits apiece. Shortstop TJ Spina (Newberry, Fla./Santa Fe) drove in a pair of runs on the afternoon as six different players posted run-scoring hits in the victory.
The Spartans (5-3) opened the scoring in the bottom of the third inning against Albany right-hander Derek Zielinski. After two quick outs, Zach Leach (Herndon, Va./Herndon) drew a walk before Trevor Edwards (Toronto, Ontario/Taddle Creek Academy) dropped down a bunt single to put two aboard. Lloyd Enzor (Whiteville, N.C./Southeastern CC) drove in the game's first run as he lined a single into centerfield plating Leach. Edwards came all the way home to score as Albany over-threw third base giving UNCG a 2-0 lead.
UNCG tacked on another two-out run in the bottom of the fourth inning. Benigno Marrero (Greensboro, N.C./Western Guilford) and Christian Wolfe (Gibsonville, N.C./Western Alamance) laced back-to-back singles with two outs. Leach followed with the Spartans' third straight single bringing home Marrero for the 3-0 lead.
The Spartans kept the attack going in the bottom of the fifth inning, chasing Zielinksi from the game. Cambric Moye (Goldsboro, N.C./Eastern Wayne) and Shawn Hendon (Bethesda, Md./Montgomery College) led off the inning with back-to-back singles. Spina ended the afternoon for Zielinski as he tripled over the center fielder's head to make it a 5-0 game. Spina came home to score on the first pitch by reliever Brendan Ryan went to the backstop on a passed ball.
UNCG padded its lead in the bottom of the eighth inning as it plated three more runs against the Albany bullpen. Cole Harrison (Key West, Fla./Key West) notched an RBI double and Edwards drove in a run with a sacrifice fly before the Spartans took a 9-0 lead on a wild pitch.
Zielinski (0-3) picked up the loss as he allowed six runs on nine hits in 4.1 innings as he walked two batters while striking out three.
The Spartans and Great Danes conclude their three-game series Sunday afternoon. First pitch is set for 1 p.m. at the UNCG Baseball Stadium. Admission is FREE.
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