GREENSBORO, N.C. – The UNCG baseball team carried a one-run lead over Lehigh into the ninth inning Tuesday, but the visitors scored twice in the top of the ninth to record a 9-8 nonconference victory at the UNCG Baseball Stadium. The Spartans drop to 8-6 while the Mountain Hawks improve their record to 9-4.
Senior outfielder Christian Wolfe (Bel Air, Md./John Carroll) posted a pair of extra base hits in the contest with a double and a three-run home run to end the day with two runs scored and three RBI in five at bats. Also tallying multiple hits was senior infielder Trevor Edwards (Toronto, Ontario/Taddle Creek Academy) as he clubbed his 30th career home run to lead off the bottom of the third. Edwards is the Southern Conference active career leader in round-trippers.
Suffering his second loss of the season was sophomore RHP Tyler Frazier (Fairfax Station, Va./South County) as he allowed two runs on two hits while walking a pair of batters in the top of the ninth. The Blue and Gold used seven pitchers in the game, receiving an effective performance by junior RHP Dylan Thompson (Snow Camp, N.C./Guilford Technical CC). He threw two scoreless innings, allowing just one hit and striking out three. He was in line for the win before Lehigh's late rally.
The Mountain Hawks began the scoring with two runs in the first inning. Justin Pacchioli led off with a single and would later score when Tyler Brong reached on an error. Joe Ablen followed with a RBI single which plated Casey Turner. UNCG responded right back in the bottom of the frame when senior infielder Lloyd Enzor (Whiteville, N.C./Southeastern CC) roped a RBI double to right center which scored Wolfe. Wolfe had led off the half inning with a double of his own.
A three-run bomb to right center with two outs by Wolfe in the bottom of the second gave the Spartans a 4-2 lead, but Lehigh exploded for five runs in the top of the third on five hits to move in front 7-4. The Blue and Gold did not back down, however, as Edwards smashed a leadoff home run and redshirt freshman infielder Nin Marrero (Greensboro, N.C./Western Guilford) recorded a sacrifice fly with two outs to pull the Spartans within a run.
Things quieted down a bit in the fourth before UNCG tallied two runs in the fifth to go ahead 8-7. Senior outfielder Zach Leach (Herndon, Va./Herndon) walked to lead off the inning and sophomore outfielder Eric Kalbfleisch (Pilot Mountain, N.C./North Stokes) singled to put runners on the corners. Marrero then laid down a textbook bunt down the first base line which was able to score Leach from third. A big moment for freshman catcher Jake Hall (Asheboro, N.C./Southwestern Randolph) happened next as the rookie laced a single to left center for his first career RBI.
Neither squad scored in the sixth, seventh or eighth frames. A sacrifice fly with one out in the ninth scored the Mountain Hawks' first run of the inning before Lance Kirschenbaum came through for his team with a two-out, pinch hit single to plate Brong for the winning run.
UNCG will host Atlantic 10 member Rhode Island tomorrow (March 13) with a scheduled 4 p.m. first pitch.
- UNCG -