Late Surge Lifts Baseball Past Princeton, 9-7
GREENSBORO, N.C. – The UNCG baseball team touched up Princeton's bullpen for seven runs in the seventh and eighth innings Wednesday as the Spartans captured a 9-7 nonconference victory at the UNCG Baseball Stadium. The Blue and Gold evens its record at 10-10 with the victory while Princeton falls to 1-13.
The Tiger starter Cameron Mingo was effective in six innings of work, allowing two runs (one earned) on nine hits while striking out three, but the Spartans roughed up reliever Nick Donatiello for seven runs on seven hits in just one and two-thirds innings.
Conversely, UNCG starter and sophomore RHP Brennen James was nearly perfect in three scoreless innings, allowing just one hit. Classmate Caleb Henley picked up his first win of the season despite just throwing one third of an inning. He held the Tigers off the board and recorded the final out of the eighth to become the pitcher of record as the Spartans took the lead in the bottom of the inning.
Sophomore outfielder Eric Kalbfleisch continued his hot streak at the plate, extending his hitting streak to seven while recording three hits in five at bats with a double and a RBI. He is hitting .545 in his last five games with three doubles and three RBI. Senior infielder Trevor Edwards tallied three RBI and scored a run while sophomore utility player Ray Crawford and freshman infielder Nin Marrero crossed the plate twice.
UNCG put up the first real threat of the game in the bottom of the second as junior catcher Cambric Moye worked a walk and Kalbfleisch followed with a base knock and advanced to second on a wild pitch. With one out, senior infielder TJ Spina reached on a fielder's choice, but a strange call by the home plate umpire resulted in Moye and Kalbfleisch getting called out despite there not being a force play at third.
The Spartans struck in the third, taking a 1-0 lead when Marrero doubled down the right field line and scored when Crawford singled to short and the shortstop overthrew first trying to nab Crawford.
Princeton was able to net four runs in the top of the fifth, thanks in part to a leadoff home run by Will Davis, and moved in front 4-1 before a sacrifice fly by Edwards scored senior outfielder Zach Leach in the bottom of the inning to make the score 4-2.
Looking to put the game away, the Tigers tacked on three more runs in the sixth on just one hit as they produced a sacrifice fly, scored on a passed ball and tallied an RBI double.
UNCG began its rally in the seventh as Donatiello took his turn on the bump. The Spartans greeted him rudely as Crawford tripled to right center and Leach brought him in with a sacrifice fly. Edwards then took him deep with a home run to right field before Enzor doubled to left and plated Moye who drew a walk on a 3-2 count.
The score stood at 7-5 until the bottom of the eighth when freshman catcher Jake Hall and Marrero led off with consecutive singles. With one away, Hall was able to score on a wild pitch and Edwards flew out to center to score Marrero and tie the game at seven. Moye and Kalbfleisch followed with a RBI single and RBI double respectively to push the home side in front 9-7.
With Princeton down to its last at bats in the top of the ninth, Hathcock tallied a strikeout and induced two flyouts to end the game.
UNCG returns to the diamond this weekend, traveling to Spartanburg, S.C. for a Southern Conference series with Wofford. The Spartans and Terriers will begin the set Friday, March 22 at 6 p.m. inside Russell C. King Field.
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