UNCG falls on ninth-inning home run to North Florida, 10-9
GREENSBORO, N.C. – North Florida's T.J. Thompson hit a one-out two-run home run to left center in the top of the ninth inning as UNC Greensboro fell to the Osprey, 10-9, on Tuesday evening at the UNCG Baseball Stadium.
With the Spartans holding on to a 10-9 lead entering the ninth, Michael Smith led off the inning with a walk. After a groundout, Thompson stepped to the plate and belted a 3-1 pitch out to right center to propel the Ospreys (23-20) to victory.
Casey Medlen picked up his fourth win of the year as he pitched the final 2 1/3 innings and didn't allow a hit while striking out four batters. Zach Furl suffered the loss for the Spartans (20-25) after allowing one run on one hit in an inning of work.
Ed Jayjack led the Spartans with a 2-3 performance with three RBI and two runs scored. Alex Frederick also had a nice evening as he also went 2-3, while adding a pair of RBI and scoring a run.
Michael Smith's 3-4 evening with four RBI and two runs scored led the Osprey on Tuesday. Thompson added a pair of hits to go along with his two-run home run as well.
The Osprey wasted little time jumping out to an early lead as they put up four runs in the top half of the first. T.J. Gavlik led off the inning with a walk and Justin Preckajlo followed with a single of his own. Preston Hale then doubled off the wall in left field to score Gavlik and more Preckajlo to third.
After a groundout score Preckajlo, Smith hit his own double off the wall in left field to score Hale from second. Smith would go on to score later in the inning on a single by Andrew Hannon to put UNF ahead, 4-0.
The Spartans responded though with a two-out rally in the bottom of the first inning. Chris Barker got things going with a triple to right center before Lloyd Enzor walks to put runners on the corners. Jayjack then came up and belted a 1-0 pitch off the top of the scoreboard in right center to pull the Spartans within 4-3.
Gavlik once again got the Osprey started in the top of the second as he doubled to left center to lead off the inning. Hale walked two batters later before Smith doubled to left field to score Gavlik and Hale to extend the Osprey lead to 6-3.
Barker led off the third inning for UNCG by getting hit by a pitch. He was also hit by a pitch in the fourth inning to give him 22 hit by pitches this season with 21 of them coming in the last 24 games. Jayjack was also hit by a pitch two batters later before Ray Quinones drew a walk to load the bases. After a UNCG strikeout, Frederick drew a walk to score Barker and make it a 6-4 ballgame.
After the Osprey scored a run in the top of the fourth, UNCG answered with a sacrifice fly by Frederick to score Jayjack in the bottom of the fifth to cut the Osprey lead to 7-5.
Once again though, North Florida had an answer as Preckajlo led off the inning with a towering home run to left field to put the Osprey ahead, 8-5.
The Spartans finally found the big inning they were searching for in the bottom of the seventh as they pushed four runs across the plate. Jayjack led off the inning with a double down the left field line and was then caught in a rundown on a Quinones fielder's choice, but stayed in it long enough to allow Quinones to advance to second.
Joey Frabasile then drew a walk before Frederick hit a bloop single to right center to load the bases. Kris Richards and Harry Slade followed by drawing walks to pull the Spartans within 8-7. A wild pitch by the Osprey pitcher allowed Frederick to score to tie the game and a sacrifice fly by Cody Walker scored Richards to give UNCG a 9-8 lead.
The Spartans held that lead until Thompson's home run in the ninth inning.
The Spartans will return to action this weekend as they travel to face Western Carolina for a three-game series beginning Friday at 8 p.m.
North Florida 10, UNC Greensboro 9
North Florida....... 420 101 002 - 10 11 0 (23-20)
UNC Greensboro...... 301 010 400 - 9 7 3 (20-25)
Pitchers: North Florida - ATTEO, John; SCHULZ, Clayton(3); LINSTER, Kris(3); FERRANO, Trey(4); ORGAN, Tommy(7); MEDLEN, Casey(7) and ELDREDGE, David; DAHL, Kyle. UNC Greensboro - Matt Parish; Greg Smith(1); Tyler Hollstegge(3); Alex Shelton(5); Zach Furl(9) and Ed Jayjack.
Win-MEDLEN, Casey (4-2) Loss-Zach Furl (2-2) T-3:19 A-166
HR UNF - PRECKAJLO, Justin; THOMPSON, T.J..
HR UNCG - Ed Jayjack.
Weather: 79 and mostly sunny
Shelton faced 1 batter in the 9th.
- UNCG -