Spring Break Sees the Spartans Bats Heat Up

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Daniel Johnson
Staff Writer 

 

During the week of Spring Break, the Spartans’ baseball team hosted a four game series against Lafayette University. The four games played saw the Spartans score a combined 58 runs scored and sweep through their opponents with offensive firepower of the US military.

 

Game 1: UNCG 25 Lafayette 7

Yes, you are reading the final score correct. And no, this wasn’t a football game. In the opening game of the series for the blue and gold, the team set a historical mark with the 25 runs scored in the game being the second highest run total in the school’s history, the first being their 26-1 victory back in 2003. Eight different Spartan players left the game with a run batted in, with junior shortstop Tripp Shelton setting the team high with five RBIs along with scoring two runs himself. The Leopards of Lafayette opened the game with a two run first inning before the Spartans responded with three runs in the bottom half of the first. In the second, the Spartans exploded with 13 runs, putting the game out of reach within the first hour of playing.

 

Game 2: UNCG 14 Lafayette 2

St. Patrick’s Day saw the Spartans play a doubleheader in the afternoon. Despite another impressive offensive night with fourteen runs scored (which compared to 25 the previous night, does not look as impressive), it was the complete game pitching of junior Bryce Hensley that was the story of the game. In the shorten seven innings played, Hensley allowed only three hits to Lafayette while striking out nine. Out of their six innings that saw the Spartans’ bats take the plate, the team scored in five of those innings. This game saw the scoring spread more evenly instead of an inning outburst from Thursday’s game.

 

Game 3: UNCG 8 Lafayette 7

Part two of the doubleheader in the late afternoon of Friday saw the two teams compete in the only competitive game of the series. Unlike in any of the other two previous games or Saturday’s closer, this was the only game to feature a controlling lead for the Leopards. The first three innings saw Lafayette take a 4-0 lead, with sophomore infielder Spencer Rouse scoring on a wild pitch in the first and knocking in two runs in the third inning. It took an rbi ground out from sophomore Andrew Moritz to score senior Ben Spitznagel to put the Spartans on board in the fourth. By the bottom of the seventh, the Leopards held a 5-2 lead. However, the inning saw the UNCG explode for six runs thanks in large part to a grand slam from senior Ryan Sigmon. Two more runs were added in the inning to put the Spartans up 8-5. Lafayette would score two more times in the the top of the eighth, but fail to regain their lead, giving the Spartans an 8-7 victory.

 

Game 4: UNCG 11 Lafayette 8

With a five run bottom of the first inning, another early single inning explosion, this gave the Spartans all the momentum out of the gate. Like with the Thursday opener, junior Tripp Shelton’s bat did a lot of damage, knocking in five runs and scoring twice in the game. Junior pitcher Dan Loats threw six innings of two run ball. By the time he left the game, the Spartans held a 9-2 lead. Though Lafayette would not go out quietly, scoring six runs over the final three innings, the lead was extended with another two runs from the blue and gold to put the game too far gone for a comeback.

 

And with that, the Spartans overpowered their visiting opponents to give themselves a happy Spring Break. This week, UNCG will travel to NC A&T for a single game on Wednesday night before returning to home to prepare for a weekend series against Western Carolina to mark the beginning of the Southern Conference games this season.



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