Spartans rally falls short against N.C. A&T, 7-6
GREENSBORO, NC – UNC Greensboro scored four runs in the final three innings, but it wasn't enough to overcome a 7-2 deficit as the Spartans fell, 7-6, to cross-town rival North Carolina A&T on Tuesday night at the UNCG Baseball Stadium.
Aggie starter Nick Oelker picked up his first win of the season for A&T (14-29) after he went six inning and allowed just three runs. Nick Rogers led the Aggies at the plate after falling just a single shy of hitting for the cycle.
UNCG starter Alex Shelton was credited with the hard-luck loss for the Spartans (15-23) after allowed just two runs on three hits in 5 1/3 innings of work.
The Aggies got on the board in the top of the first inning to jump out to the early 1-0 lead. George Hines took the second pitch of the ballgame deep over the left field wall for his fourth home run of the season.
The Spartans immediately responded in the bottom half of the inning to knot the game at 1 apiece. With one down, Ray Quinones hit a triple to the gap in right center. Corey Overholtzer followed with a bloop single down the right field line to tie the game at 1-1. Pedro Leon was then hit by a pitch before Trevor Edwards was walked to load the bases. After a Spartan strike out, Michael Wall lifted a ball that was nearly a home run put Cyril Daniel tracked it down on the warning track.
N.C. A&T tacked on another run in the top of the fourth inning after Rogers led off the inning with a triple into in the right field corner. Jaron Neal followed with a single to center field to score Rogers and put the Aggies ahead for good, 2-1.
The Aggies were able to extend their lead in the sixth inning when Rogers struck again. This time he hit a home run over the left field wall to put A&T ahead, 3-1.
The Spartans were able to get that run back in the bottom half of the sixth to narrow the deficit to 3-2. With two out in the inning, Drew Gehringer hit a double to deep center field with two out in the inning and Michael Wall followed with a single to right field to score Gehringer.
The Aggies broke the game open in the top of the seventh inning with four runs to extend their lead to 7-2. A&T used three singles and a double and were also aided by three wild pitches by the Spartans as they scored their four runs in the inning.
The Spartans began their rally in the bottom half of the seventh as Brent O'Berry scored to make the score 7-3. After O'Berry walked to reach base, he scored later in the inning when Overholtzer reached on a fielding error by the Aggie third baseman.
UNCG got another back in the eighth inning thanks to some sloppy defense by the Aggies. Gehringer led off the inning by reaching second on a fielding error by the right fielder. He advanced to third on a single by Wall before scoring on an Alex Frederick fielder's choice to pull the Spartans within, 7-4.
The Spartans mounted a rally in the ninth inning, but fell just short. Quinones led off by reaching on an error by the shortstop, but was put out at second on Overholtzer's fielder's choice. Leon was then hit by a pitch and the runners advanced to second and third on a wild pitch. Pinch hitter Rob Gilliam then reached on a throwing error by the shortstop, which allowed Overholtzer and Leon to score to make the score 7-6. That was as close as the Spartans could get as Esterlin Paulino came in to pitch for the Aggies and struck out the first batter before inducing a game-ending ground out to second base.
The Spartans return to action on Wednesday evening as UNCG makes the short trip to face High Point at 6 p.m. at Williard Stadium.
North Carolina A&T 7, UNC Greensboro 6
North Carolina A&T... 100 101 400 - 7 10 4 (14-29)
UNC Greensboro...... 100 001 112 - 6 7 1 (15-23)
Pitchers: UNC Greensboro – Alex Shelton, Zach Furl, Greg Martin, Greg Smith, Adam Daufeldt. North Carolina A&T – Nick Oelker, Jared Via, Garrett Braun, Esterlin Paulino.
Win- Nick Oelker (1-7) Save- Esterlin Paulino Loss- Alex Shelton (0-5) T-2:46 A-367
HR: North Carolina A&T: George Hines (4), Nick Rogers (8)
- UNCG -