Baseball Knocks Off No. 16 NC State In Extras, 8-5
GREENSBORO, N.C. – The UNCG baseball team scored three runs in the top of the 11th inning Tuesday to break a 5-5 deadlock, upending No. 16 NC State 8-5 in a nonconference contest at Doak Field at Dail Park. The Spartans improve to 9-10 overall while the Wolfpack falls to 16-6.
The win snapped a five-game losing streak and also marked the second-straight campaign in which the Spartans have defeated a ranked team on the road. UNCG beat North Carolina in Chapel Hill 8-4 last April.
Senior infielder TJ Spina tallied two hits in the game, including a two-run home run in the eighth to give the Spartans a brief lead. He also scored two runs and drew two walks. Senior Trevor Edwards was the other UNCG player to rack up a pair of base knocks.
Sophomore Blair Betts earned his first win of the season and his career, throwing two thirds of an inning allowing no runs, no hits and striking out one batter. Earning his first save of the year was junior Dylan Hathcock as he hurled a perfect 11th with a strikeout.
The Spartans put some good at bats together right at the start as UNCG stayed patient and worked four walks in the top of the first inning. The last with Moye at the plate came with the bases loaded and a 3-2 count as the Blue and Gold jumped on top 1-0. The Spartans got a one-out infield single from Marrero in the bottom of the second, but Crawford grounded into a double play to erase the threat.
NC State loaded the bases with two outs in the bottom of the second, but Taylor came up big – getting John Mangum to chase a pitch and strike out to eliminate any damage.
The Wolfpack struck in the bottom of the third, scoring three runs on three hits to jump in front 3-1. Bryan Adametz tripled to center to lead off the frame and NC State would add a RBI bunt single and a RBI groundout to account for the other two runs. The home team threatened again in the bottom of the fourth, but sophomore Caleb Henley struck out Brett Austin with runners at second and third to keep the Wolfpack off the board.
Senior outfielder Zach Leach smashed his first home run of the campaign over the left field wall with two outs in the top of the fifth to pull the Spartans to within a run at 3-2. NC State loaded the bases without a hit in the bottom of the frame, but sophomore Brennen James was able to get Grant Clyde to foul out to end the inning.
In the top of the sixth, sophomore outfielder Eric Kalbfleisch singled through the right side with one out before Spina walked. Junior infielder Shawn Hendon came up as a pinch hitter with two away, but he struck out looking to leave the Spartans down a run.
A pair of errors to begin the bottom of the sixth proved costly as NCSU ended up scoring a run with two outs on a bloop single to shallow left field. However, with two outs in the top of the eighth, junior catcher Cambric Moye hit a single to left field which scored Edwards before Spina got a hold of one and destroyed it high over the left field wall to put the Spartans in front 5-4. The Wolfpack responded in its half of the eighth with two outs as UNCG botched an inning-ending double play opportunity, allowing Logan Ratledge to score from third and tie the game at five. He had doubled to lead off the half inning.
After the Spartans came up empty in the top of the ninth, NCSU was able to get a runner to third with two away. However, sophomore Tyler Frazier struck out Ratledge to keep the game-winning run from scoring and send the contest to extra innings.
Both squads were held scoreless in the 10th before the Spartans racked up three runs in the top of the 11th on three walks and a key throwing error by the NC State shortstop. The miscue allowed Spina and redshirt freshman infielder Nin Marrero to cross home and make the score 8-5. Pinch runner Cole Harrison also scored on a wild pitch prior to the error.
Hathcock set the Wolfpack down in order in the bottom of the frame to seal the win.
The Blue and Gold has a quick turnaround, returning to the UNCG Baseball Stadium tomorrow for a game against Ivy League outfit Princeton. First pitch is set for 7 p.m.
- UNCG -