Thompsons single gives Spartans 5-4 win over Furman
CHARLESTON, SC – Shane Thompson’s two-out RBI single to shallow leftfield lifted seventh-seeded UNC Greensboro to a thrilling 5-4 win over No. 3 seed Furman Thursday afternoon at Riley Park.
After Furman scored the game-tying run in the bottom of the eighth, the Spartans responded in the bottom of the ninth to tally the game-winning run. Adam Deleo reached base with a one-out double down the leftfield line that came less than three feet from going out of the ball park before Thompson blooped a two-out single three batters later that dropped in between the shortstop and third baseman in shallow left.
After four innings of nearly no-hit baseball, Furman cracked the scoreboard first in the top of the fifth when Paladin third baseman Joey Rodgers hit a home run down the leftfield line that stayed just inside the foul line for just his third roundtripper of the season.
UNCG (26-32) answered Furman’s run with two of its own in the bottom of the fifth to take a 2-1 lead. Brandon Harvey led off the inning with a single up the middle, but was erased on the next place when Deleo reached first on a fielder’s choice. After Roly Gonzalez reached base on a fielding error on the Paladin second baseman, Logan Smith, making his first start of the tournament, crushed a double off the scoreboard to score both Deleo and Gonzalez.
The Spartans tacked on two more runs the following inning to extend their lead to 4-1 after six complete. Sean Snell was hit by a pitch to start the inning, chasing Furman starter Matt Klinker from the game in favor of left-hander Ryan Hudson to face lefty Jermaine Mitchell. Mitchell didn’t cooperate, however, as the Daingerfield, TX native and first team All-SoCon selection laced an RBI triple down the rightfield line to score Snell to claim the team lead with 40 RBI for just a moment. Guy Welsh kept pace with Mitchell in the team RBI race as he plated Mitchell with an RBI groundout on the infield for his 40th RBI of the season.
Furman (32-23) loaded the bases on three straight walks to start the inning and ended up scoring two runs to make the score 4-3 in favor of the Spartans. After SoCon Player of the Year A.J. Davidiuk drew the third straight walk of the frame, Greg Martin, the third pitcher of the inning, came on and struck out Case Cassedy looking for the first out of the inning. Martin then induced designated hitter Joe Daysh into what seemed to be an inning ending double play, but shortstop Shane Thompson’s wild throw to first allowed two runners to score and Daysh to advance into scoring position at second base. Martin, however, went on to record his second strikeout of the inning as he retired catcher Tony Maccani swinging with a high fastball.
The Paladins tied the game in the top of the ninth with a run to score Ryan Falcon’s bid for his second straight win. Rodgers reached base with a one-out single to rightfield before pinch hitter Spence Gibbs was hit by a pitch to put runners on first and second. Will Stembridge then laced a single back up the middle and off of Martin’s leg and through the right side of the infield, allowing Rodgers to score the equalizing run.
Martin (2-0) earned the win in relief after allowing one run on two hits while striking out three in two innings on the hill. Starter Ryan Falcon was outstanding for the second straight start as the Rougemount, NC native allowed just one run on four hits while striking out and walking one in 6-1/3 innings of mound duty.
Furman reliever Nick Hollstegge (1-2) took the loss for Furman after surrendering one run on two hits in an inning of work. Paladin starter Matt Klinker worked five innings and allowed three runs on three hits and got a no decision.
Mitchell led the Spartans with two hits while Smith paced the team with two RBI.
With the win, the Spartans eliminated the reigning SoCon Tournament champions and assured themselves of at least one more game in the 2006 postseason event. UNCG will take on the loser of the Elon. vs. The Citadel game Friday afternoon at 1 p.m.
UNC Greensboro 5, Furman 4 (May 25, 2006 at Charleston, SC)
Furman.............. 000 010 021 - 4 6 1 (32-23)
UNC Greensboro...... 000 022 001 - 5 7 1 (26-32)
Pitchers: Furman - Matt Klinker; Ryan Hudson(6); Ryan Hodinka(8); Nick Hollstegge(8).
UNC Greensboro - Ryan Falcon; Jonathan Nichols(7); Clinton McKinney(8); Greg Martin(8).
Win-Greg Martin(2-0) Loss-Nick Hollstegge(1-2) T-2:45 A-527
HR FUR - Joey Rodgers.
Klinker faced 1 batter in the 6th.
Nichols faced 1 batter in the 8th.
McKinney faced 2 batters in the 8th.
- UNCG -