GREENSBORO, N.C. – Bobby Martin hit a double to left field that allowed John Hein to score from first in the bottom of the 10th inning to give UNCG a 7-6 walk-off victory over Georgia Southern on Saturday afternoon at UNCG Baseball Stadium.
After the two sides were deadlocked at six after nine innings, the teams settled in for extra innings. In the bottom of the 10th, Georgia Southern closer Matt Murray recorded a pair of strikeouts. John Hein then drew a six-pitch walk before Martin put the barrel of the bat on the ball and sent it to left field. The left fielder went back to track the ball and appeared to lose his footing on the warning track, allowing Martin's ball to fall harmlessly and Hein to score from first to give UNCG the walk-off victory.
The win clinched the weekend series for the Spartans, vaulted them into second place in the Southern Conference standings and was their fifth win in a row.
Jarett Miller (4-2), who picked up the save on Friday night, came in to pitch the final two innings and gave up just one hit to pick up the win. Murray (4-2), who came into the game with a miniscule 0.86 ERA, was credited with the loss after allowing one run on two hits, while striking out four, in 2 2/3 innings of work.
Martin went 2-3 on the day for UNCG (24-17, 13-7 SoCon) with an RBI and run scored and Eric Brindle had a 3-5 performance with an RBI. Leadoff hitter Hein went 1-2 after being hit by a pitch twice, drawing a walk and scoring three runs.
Victor Roache continued his torrid pace this season for the Eagles (25-18, 13-7 SoCon) as he went 3-6 with two home runs and three RBI. Eric Phillips pushed his season batting average to an amazing .430 for Georgia Southern as he went 4-6 with a run scored.
Similar to Friday night, Georgia Southern struck with a run in the first inning to take the early lead. With runners on first and second, the Eagles drew back-to-back walks to score the first run of the game and take a 1-0 lead.
Also just like Friday, UNCG answered with a run in the bottom half of the first inning. Hein led off with a single to right field and advanced to second on a sacrifice bunt by Martin. Trevor Edwards then hit a double to right field to score Hein and tie it at one.
The UNCG didn't last for long as Roache hit his nations-best 21st home run of the season to lead off the third inning and give the Eagles a 2-1 lead.
Once again, the Spartans had an answer in the home half of the inning to take the lead. Martin led off with a walk and then Edwards followed by being hit by a pitch. After a strikeout, Chris Barker was hit by another pitch to load the bases. Brindle then singled through the right side to score Martin and Ray Crawford followed with a fielder's choice to score Edwards and make it 3-2. UNCG added another run on a single up the middle by pinch hitter Joe Hager to give the Spartans a 4-2 lead.
Roache and the Eagles were able to tie it up immediately in the top of the fourth when he hit his 22nd home run of the season, this time a two-run blast to dead center, to tie the game at four.
The seesaw battle continued in the home half of the fourth when Hein was hit by a pitch to lead off the inning. After Martin advanced him to second on another sacrifice bunt, Drew Gehringer singled to left field to score Hein and give UNCG the lead back at 5-4.
The Eagles took advantage of a Spartan miscue in the top of the fifth to retake the lead once again. With runners on first and second, Tom Richardson laid down a sacrifice bunt, but the throw to first went down the right field line to allow one runner to score. Georgia Southern would score another run later in the inning on a squeeze bunt to take a 6-5 lead.
UNCG played some more small ball in the bottom of the sixth to tie the game at six. Kris Richards led off the inning with a single up the middle and advanced to second on a sacrifice bunt by Hein. Martin then hit an infield single to put runners on first and second. After Edwards drew a walk to load the bases, Gehringer hit a fly ball down the left field line that was just deep enough for Richards to tag up and score from third to tie the game at six.
Neither team was able to push another run across the plate until Martin's double in the 10th inning.
The Spartans will look for the sweep on Sunday in the series finale at 1 p.m.
UNCG 7, Georgia Southern 6
Georgia Southern.... 101 220 000 0 - 6 12 0 (25-18, 13-7)
UNCG................ 103 101 000 1 - 7 10 2 (24-17, 13-7)
Pitchers: Georgia Southern - Andy Moye; Will Middour(4); Jarret Leverett(6); Colin Snow(6); Matt Murray(8) and Tom Richardson. UNCG - Brandon Browne; Greg Smith(4); Jonathan Jones(5); Jarett Miller(9) and Cambric Moye; Zach Leach.
Win-Jarett Miller(4-2) Loss-Matt Murray(4-2) T-3:23 A-392
HR GSU - Victor Roache 2.
Weather: 69 and sunny
Leverett faced 1 batter in the 6th.
- UNCG -