This weekend, the UNCG Spartan Baseball team travelled to Johnson City, Tennessee to face off with conference rival ETSU. The Spartans won the series, 2-1, in their first series away from UNCG Baseball Stadium in over a month.
Game One: UNCG 0 ETSU 11
In the first game, the Spartans were simply out-pitched in a masterful display for ETSU pitcher Ryan Simpler, shutting out UNCG while only allowing six hits. Jack Maynard started in the loss, pitching for 1.1 innings, allowing five hits and six earned runs. This was the first time in 101 games that UNCG has been held without a run.
ETSU jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the first, taking full advantage of a pair of Maynard walks. An infield hit from Christian Bailey scored the first run, before a sacrifice fly from Cullen Smith scored the second run of the inning.
The Bucs were able to add some breathing room to their lead in the bottom of the second. Caleb Longley led off with a double down the right field line and scored on a Rowlett single. Owenby singled to left field bringing home another run. With the bases loaded, Rowlett scored on a wild pitch for the third run of the inning. After Christian Bailey grounded out to second base, Owenby went on to score ETSU extended their lead to 6-0. ETSU added to its lead in the bottom of the fourth inning, plating three runs on three hits, pushing the lead to 9-0. The Bucs scored solo runs in the sixth and seventh innings, getting an RBI doubles from Longley, and a solo home run from Maher.
Game 2: UNCG 9 ETSU 7
After being held scoreless in the opening tilt, The Spartans’ offense came alive on Saturday. But it was late defence that was the deciding factor in a battle of two prolific batting teams in the conference. Bryce Hensley got the start and earned his fourth win of the season. He threw 5 innings, allowing four hits and a pair of runs with two strikeouts. Ryne Sigmon led the Spartan offense, with the right fielder finishing 3-for-4 with two triples, a double, two RBI, and three runs scored.
UNCG took its first lead of the series in the top of the third inning, when Sigmon led off the inning with a double to left center and advanced to third on a single later in the inning. Andrew Moritz looped a single to right field to give UNCG the 1-0 lead.
Cesar Trejo doubled the Spartan lead in the top of the fourth, with his team leading fourth home run of the season to increase the lead to 2-0. ETSU tied the game up in the bottom of the fourth inning, getting a two-run double from Cullen Smith.
The Spartans were able to not only regain the lead, but to break the game open in the sixth inning, scoring five runs. The Spartans led 7-2 after the sixth inning.
UNCG added to it lead in the seventh, scoring two runs. Another RBI later and UNCG took a 9-2 lead at the stretch. ETSU was able to battle back in the eighth, plating a pair of runs on a sacrifice fly from Chris Cook, and an RBI double from Blake Rowlett. The Bucs continued their rally in the ninth, scoring three runs, and had runners on second and third with one out before Chad Sykes retired the two hitters he faced.
Game 3: UNCG 12 ETSU 3
In the deciding game of the series, Starting Pitcher Matt Frisbee had a career long start of 7.2 innings, in which he only allowed two earned runs off of five hits along with three strikeouts. UNCG was able to record another 16 hit outing, spearheaded by Cesar Trejo’s 4-for-5 day with two home runs, a double, five RBI and four runs scored.
Trejo was able to take advantage of a couple of ETSU walks with a three run shot to center field to have the Spartans up 3-0 after the first. ETSU got on the board in its half of the second inning. With two outs, Cullen Smith singled and moved to second after Hunter Parker drew a walk. Caleb Longley brought in Smith with a single to centerfield to cut the lead to a 3-1 Spartan advantage. UNCG regained its three run lead in the top of the third inning to go up 4-1. Caleb Webster missed a home run by an inch off the bat, as he hit a double off the top of the wall in left center before coming around to score on a Tripp Shelton double to right.
The Spartans scored solo runs in each of the next three innings, concluding with a Michael Goss sacrifice fly to foul territory in right field to push the lead to 7-1.
UNCG tacked on two more on Trejo’s second home run of the day, an absolute left field bomb after Shelton reached on his second hit of the day. After the Bucs got a run back in the bottom of the seventh inning, the Spartans added two more runs in the final inning to win 12-3.
Next up for the Blue and Gold, they will be back in action in Greensboro facing North Carolina A&T at War Memorial Stadium on April 5.