UNCG Wins SoCon Regular Season, Falls in Conference Tournament

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PC: Catamount Athletics 

Dillon Overby
Staff Writer 

The UNCG baseball season came to an end on May 26th with an 8-4 loss to the Western Carolina Catamounts. With the loss the Spartans fell to a record of 39-15. The Spartans can look back on some big-time wins in 2018, as they topped an SEC opponent in Tennessee and the Wake Forest Demon Deacons out of the ACC, along with more quality opponents throughout the region.

The season began with winning a series against Appalachian State, and a win against Oakland before the Spartans headed to Knoxville to face Tennessee Volunteers in a quality series. The Spartans managed to win one game and keep up the momentum against Wake Forest and Marist in the following series. This would continue to be the case as they completed a season sweep of the Georgetown Hoyas right before conference games started.

UNCG won the regular season Socon conference title with an impressive 18-3 record. The only teams that could beat the Spartans in the conference were Western Carolina and the Wofford Terriers; the latter would be eliminated by UNCG in the conference tournament, and Western Carolina beat the Spartans two times in the conference championship to end the impressive season.

The 18-3 season is a huge improvement in conference play from the 14-10 mark set by last years team, but there is still room for growth in order to become a playoff team consistently. The conference title was later claimed by Samford as they beat Mercer to guarantee a spot in the College World Series regionals.

With an improving team and a great head coach in Link Jarrett, UNCG Baseball has a lot to look forward to in coming years. Matt Frisbee served as the pitching ace for the team, proving to be a difference maker in quite a few games. Frisbee struck 116 batters this season while posting a 3.45 ERA.

He won 10 games on the year and provided a spark of confidence for the team. With an impressive set of strikeouts and wins, Frisbee was able to gain Second-Team All-American honors. Frisbee has potential in the next level and should be looked at by every team in the Majors toward the middle of the draft.

Another cornerstone of an overpowering Spartan rotation was Jack Maynard. Maynard, a 2017 All-Conference selection, often served as UNCG’s closer or set-up pitcher, recording nine saves and a 2.13 ERA in 2018. Maynard was taken by the Arizona Diamondbacks in the 2017 MLB Draft, and will likely pursue a professional career after graduating in May.

While Frisbee and Maynard did a terrific job leading the Spartans defensive efforts, Andrew Moritz lit up the scoreboard. Moritz ended the season as the Player of the Year in the SoCon, was named Third-Team All-America and will likely have a long professional career ahead of him. Moritz batted over .400 this year throughout in conference and non-conference play, a superb feat suggesting next-level talent. Without a doubt, Moritz has what it takes to be a major leaguer.

With the 2018 season in the books, the Spartans can turn their attention to developing another solid ball club in 2019. After finishing first in the conference in the regular season and returning lots of talent, it is hard to imagine that the Spartans will not be competing for the conference championship again next year.

Moritz may depart this offseason, but the Spartans should look forward to their up-and-coming talent as they develop more superstars in the future. The UNCG baseball team has continuously grown each year and drive to achieve more success in the coming season; they just need to avoid bad losses in the conference tournament. A trip to the College World Series could be an achievable goal, but to get there, the Spartans will need a continuous effort from their fans. So get out and cheer for the Spartans in the upcoming season.



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