UNCG drops season-finale to Furman, 11-6
GREENSBORO, N.C. - UNC Greensboro took a 3-0 lead after the first inning, but Furman responded with six runs in the second en route to an 11-6 victory over the Spartans in a rain-shortened game on Saturday afternoon at the UNCG Baseball Stadium. The game was the season finale for the Spartans, who failed to qualify for the Southern Conference Tournament next weekend.
Prior to the game, seniors Corey Overholtzer and Alex Shelton were honored for their time with the Spartans over the past four seasons.
The game was called by the home plate umpire with one out in the bottom of the ninth, but per NCAA rules, the game reverts back to the last completed inning, which was the eighth.
Paladin starter Bobby Lyne picked up the win as he went five innings and gave up three runs on six hits. Matt Parish was credited with the loss for the Spartans (20-33, 7-23 SoCon) after allowing six runs on six hits in one-plus innings of work.
The Spartans were led at the plate by Ray Quinones, who went 2-4 with a pair of RBI, while Overholtzer added a pair of hits and an RBI in his final game in a Spartan jersey. Chris Barker had a hit and two RBI and two runs scored for UNCG, as well.
Aaron Thompkins led the Paladins (19-35, 11-19 SoCon) by going 3-4 with three RBI and Brian Harrison also chipped in three RBI as he went 2-4.
UNCG got off to a good start as it pushed three runs across in the bottom of the first. Harry Slade walked to lead off the inning before advancing safely to second on a fielder's choice by Barker. Overholtzer then hit a single up the middle to load the bases.
After a UNCG strikeout, Quinones singled up the middle to score Slade and Barker and move Overholtzer to third. Overholtzer scored as Eric Brindle stepped to the plate and laid a bunt down the first base line for the safety squeeze to make it 3-0.
The Paladins responded in a big way, however, in the top of the second inning as they scored six runs to take a 6-3 lead. Reese Wade led things off with a single to right field before moving to third on a double by Will Miller. Paul Nitto was hit by a pitch to load the bases for J.B. Jenkins, who hit a single to left field to make it 3-1.
Rob Fondu followed with an RBI single of his own before Will Owens walked to score another run and tie the game at 3. Thompkins kept things going as he singled to left center to score one more run. After a Spartan pitching change, Harrison singled up the middle to score Fondu and Owens to put Furman in front, 6-3.
Slade prevented a run for the Paladins in the top of the third inning as Nitto led off with a shot to left field, but Slade jumped and reached over the wall to pull back the would-be home run to keep the score at 6-3.
Nitto would not be denied, though, as he stretched the Paladins' lead to 7-3 in the top of the fifth inning as he hit a home run well over the left field wall.
Furman kept the runs coming as Owens was hit by a pitch to start the sixth inning and then moved to second on a sacrifice bunt. He scored as the next batter, Harrison, hit a double to right center. The Paladins made it 9-3 when Will Muzika singled to left field to score Harrison.
UNCG used a two-out rally in the bottom half of the sixth inning to score a pair of runs. Slade got things started by legging out an infield single and then scored on a double to left center that went to the wall by Barker. Overholtzer then hit a double of his own down the right field line to score Barker and pull the Spartans within four at 9-5.
Fondu and Owens led off the seventh inning for the Paladins with back-to-back walks before scoring later in the inning on a two-run single up the middle by Thompkins to push their lead to 11-5.
Pinch hitter Cody Walker hit a double to left center to start the bottom of the eighth inning for UNCG and scored later in the inning on a groundout by Barker to make the final score 11-6.
The win secured the eighth seed in the SoCon Tournament next week for the Paladins.
Furman 11, UNC Greensboro 6
Furman.............. 060 012 20 - 11 14 0 (19-35, 11-19)
UNC Greensboro...... 300 002 01 - 6 10 0 (20-33, 7-23)
Pitchers: Furman - Bobby Lyne; Barry Benton(6); Kevin Gaid(6); Jay Friedman(8) and Paul Nitto. UNC Greensboro - Matt Parish; Alex Shelton(2); Greg Smith(6); Wes McBride(8) and Zach Leach.
Win-Bobby Lyne(3-2) Loss-Matt Parish(1-3) T-3:24 A-184
HR FUR - Paul Nitto.
Weather: 71, cloudy, showers in area
Parish faced 7 batters in the 2nd.
- UNCG -