GREENSBORO, N.C. – UNCG baseball was unable to survive a late comeback by the Princeton Tigers Friday night. The Spartans gave up two runs in the top of the ninth inning to fall 5-3 to Princeton. UNCG falls to 6-7 on the season, while Princeton improves to 1-4.
“They’re a good, solid baseball team. Some of those guys have been around for a while and we were just short in every facet today.” Head coach Link Jarrett said, “(Chad) Powers (Princeton) threw a great game, he’s an experienced guy and he pitched with command and did a very nice job. (Chris) Giglio closed it out for them and he pitched well too.”
“I didn’t think we played at a high level.” Jarrett continued, “We pitched ok, but there were some pitches we didn’t execute and the long ball came into play for them. Offensively we had a few bright moments but there wasn’t enough up and down the lineup for us to put some big numbers on the board. I was impressed with our bunting in the seventh to help get us back into it. Overall, we didn’t play at a high enough level to win that game, and Princeton did. Their execution was better than ours and they deserved to win that game.”
Jack Maynard (Crozet, Va./Patrick Henry CC) started on the hill. The junior logged a career-best 6.1 innings, striking out eight hitters while allowing two earned runs. Chad Sykes (Creedmoor, N.C./Voyager Academy) threw 0.2, gave up a run and struck out one hitter. Ben Kerner (Cary, N.C./Brunswick CC) threw a scoreless eighth inning. Andrew Wantz (Holly Springs, N.C./Holly Springs tossed the ninth, striking out a batter and giving up two earned runs.
Austin Embler (Southern Pines, N.C./Pinecrest) finished the day 3-for-4 with a run scored. Cesar Trejo (Greensboro, N.C./Ragsdale) and Caleb Webster (Randleman, N.C./Randleman) each finished 2-for-4. Trejo hit his first triple of the season and scored a run. Webster added a run scored and an RBI.
Princeton scored first as Zack Belski connected for his second home run of the season, a solo home run to give the Tigers a 1-0 lead.
The Spartans tied the game up in the bottom of the third inning. With two outs, Embler singled through the left side. Tripp Shelton (Winston-Salem, N.C./West Forsyth) dropped a double just inside the line in left field to score Embler and tie it up at one.
UNCG took its first lead of the game in the bottom of the fourth. Trejo led off and took an 0-2 pitch to the gap in right center for his first triple of the season. Webster ground out but Trejo was able to score on the play and UNCG took a 2-1 lead.
The Tigers took a 3-2 lead after scoring a pair of runs in the top of the seventh inning. Danny Baer drove in a run after singling to right field, and a double from Ramzi Haddad put Princeton ahead.
UNCG used the small game to its advantage in the bottom of the seventh. Webster got on with a bunt base hit and moved to third after a wild pitch and a sacrifice bunt from Ryne Sigmon (Danville, Va./Danville CC). Michael Goss (Cartersville, Ga./Chattanooga State CC) then executed a safety squeeze to plate Webster and tie the game up at three.
Princeton broke the tie in the top of the ninth inning on a solo home run from Haddad and had another run score on a Conor Nolan single.
UNCG threatened in the ninth inning, putting two on but were unable to bring a run around.
The Blue and Gold and Princeton return to the field tomorrow afternoon for a doubleheader beginning at 1:00 p.m.