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COLUMBIA, S.C. (March 7, 2018) – Redshirt junior infielder AJ Hunt had his second three-hit game of the season as North Carolina A&T lost 12-2 on the road to Division I baseball power South Carolina at Founders Park on Wednesday.  The Aggies finished with eight hits against the Gamecocks, but walked a season-high 11 batters.   

“I like the way our guys came out and competed to start the ballgame,” said N.C. A&T coach Ben Hall. “We gave ourselves some opportunities early to put some runs on the board. I am disappointed we let the score get away from us in the middle of the game. We cannot give good teams free bases. If we had executed some situational offense that would have given us some breathing room.”

Senior left-hand pitcher Jonah Owenby made his first start of the season and held the Gamecocks scoreless through three innings. The Aggies missed on some crucial scoring chances leaving seven runners on base over the first five innings.

Redshirt sophomore catcher Ryne Stanley had an RBI single to left field in the fourth inning to score senior outfielder Greg White for an early Aggie lead over the Southeastern Conference foe. White was hit by a pitch and advanced to second on a wild pitch on his way to crossing the plate. In the bottom half of the inning, USC tied the game on a wild pitch by N.C. A&T after advancing two runners on a passed ball.

USC took a 2-1 advantage in the fifth inning on a single up the middle and an RBI single to center field with two outs. Their lead increased with three runs in the sixth and an additional six in the seventh inning as they took a commanding 11-1 lead.

The Aggies scored in the eighth inning on an RBI single up the middle by redshirt freshman Justin Williams to score Hunt who singled. Hunt powered the Aggies at the plate, going 3-for-4 with a run scored. He singled up the middle in the second, doubled to right center in the fifth and singled through the right side in the eighth. Hunt’s .429 batting average, .667 slugging percentage and .520 on base percentage leads the Aggies.

“We won’t dwell on this result. We will get back and get ready for a big weekend,” Hall added.

The Aggies will open conference play this weekend at home against rival N.C. Central in War Memorial Stadium.  The Eagles (10-3) are off to a hot start and are winners of five straight. A 1 p.m., doubleheader is scheduled for Saturday at War Memorial Stadium. The series finale is 1 p.m., Sunday.