Baseball Drops 11-9 Slugfest at East Carolina
GREENVILLE, N.C. – The UNCG baseball team jumped out to a 3-0 lead in the first two innings, but East Carolina was able to rally on multiple occasions on the way to an 11-9 nonconference victory Tuesday at Clark-LeClair Stadium. The Spartans drop to 6-4 with the loss while the Pirates improve to 7-4.
Senior outfielder Zach Leach (Herndon, Va./Herndon) had a big day at the dish, going 3-for-4 with two runs scored. Freshman infielder Nin Marrero (Greensboro, N.C./Western Guilford) delivered two RBI on the day, including his second home run of the season in the seventh inning to give UNCG a brief 9-8 advantage.
The teams combined for 20 runs on 25 hits, scoring 11 of those runs in the fifth through seventh innings. A pair of errors in center field proved costly for the Spartans.
Junior Dylan Thompson (1-1) suffered the loss giving up all three runs in the seventh (one earned) on three hits with a walk. Sophomore starter Brandon Browne was touched for five runs (all earned) on four hits with a pair of walks before handing the ball off to classmate Brennen James, who surrendered one run (earned) on two hits in one inning of work. Sophomores Tyler Frazier (1.2 IP, 2 H, 3 BB) and Caleb Henley (1.0 IP, 2 H, 2 BB) each allowed a run before Thompson entered the contest. Taylor (1.1 IP, 2 H, 2 BB), freshman Adam Anderson (0.0 IP, BB) and senior Dominique Vattuone (0.1 IP) recorded the final five outs without allowing a run.
The Blue and Gold struck quickly in the top of the first, scoring two runs on two hits – highlighted by a RBI single by Moye. UNCG added another run in the second when senior infielder TJ Spina (Newberry, Fla./Santa Fe) scored on a passed ball, but the Pirates plated three runs on three hits in their part of the second to knot the score. The Spartans worked an inning-ending double play to escape further damage.
East Carolina continued its offensive surge in the bottom of the third, pounding out three runs on two hits to establish a 6-3 advantage. After a scoreless fourth inning, UNCG rallied in the top of the fifth. Leach beat out a ground ball for a base hit before senior infielder Trevor Edwards (Toronto, Ontario, Canada/Taddle Creek Academy) was hit by a pitch. Moye then walked to load the bases and junior infielder Shawn Hendon singled past the shortstop to score Leach. A groundout and bases loaded walk capped the frame as the Spartans knotted the score at six.
With two away in the bottom of the fifth, Phillip Clark roped a single to left field which scored Dylan Brown to allow ECU to edge back in front by a run. Edwards fueled a two-run sixth for the Blue and Gold by smacking a double after Leach led off with a bunt single. Leach would cross home on a wild pitch before senior infielder Lloyd Enzor (Whiteville, N.C./Southeastern CC) hit a fly ball to center which scored Edwards and made the score 8-7 in favor of the Spartans.
The Pirates answered yet again in the bottom of the frame. With two outs, Brown looped a double down the right field line which plated Jack Reinheimer and deadlocked the game at eight.
In the top of the seventh, the Spartans posted a two-out run of their own when Marrero crushed a ball to left field for a solo home run, but UNCG would ultimately be unable to hold off the home side. A pair of leadoff singles before a sac bunt by Reinheimer put the runners at second and third. Chase McDonald then laced a single to center that was misplayed, allowing two runs to cross home. Nick Thompson finished the scoring off by reaching on a fielder's choice play which scored Drew Reynolds.
The Spartans had one last chance in the top of the ninth. Sophomore designated hitter Eric Kalbfleisch (Pilot Mountain, N.C./North Stokes) ripped a one-out double to left and Spina tallied a two-out single, but Marrero struck out to end the game.
UNCG returns to action this weekend, hosting Marist for a three-game series at the UNCG Baseball Stadium. First pitch between the Spartans and Red Foxes Friday is set for 4 p.m.
- UNCG -