EAST GREENSBORO – North Carolina A&T lost its second one-run baseball game to USC Upstate in a week as the Spartans came away with a 2-1 win over the Aggies at War Memorial Stadium, Wednesday night.
Last Wednesday at USC Upstate, the Spartans earned a 4-3 win over the Aggies on a walk-off RBI single in the 10th inning.
At War Memorial Stadium, six Aggies recorded a hit. Senior Jason King furthered his career-long hitting streak to nine while also recording an RBI. Junior Dustin Baber scored the Aggies only run.
On the mound, the Aggies threw the bullpen with eight pitchers heading to the stump with freshman RHP Gianni Smith pitching the first two scoreless innings scattering two hits with five strikeouts. Freshman LHP Peyton Winebarger (1-1) picked up the loss pitching the next inning giving up two runs on one hit.
Upstate (16-17) broke the scoreless tie in the top half of the inning scoring two runs to take a 2-0 lead after Andres Kim hit a triple down the right field line to drive home Davis Wilber. J.J. Shimko grounded out to second base to bring home Kim.
The Aggies bounced back with a run in the bottom half of the inning to cut the lead to 2-1. Freshman Dontae Wade and Baber were hit by pitches, the Spartans put out the lead runner, Wade, on a fielder’s choice. But King delivered the one-out single to left field to drive home Baber. A double play ended the inning.
Both teams had plenty of opportunities to score. The Spartans left nine on base, while the Aggies left eight.
Upstate started the game with back-to-back singles, but Smith settled down with consecutive strikeouts to end the inning. The Spartans also had the bases loaded in the fourth inning with one out, but Leon Davidson entered the game and got the next two batters to fly out without allowing a run. Upstate left runners on second and third with one out in the sixth inning and runners on the corners with two outs in the eighth inning.
The Aggies had an opportunity in the seventh inning after first baseman Zach McLean started with a double to center field and advanced to third after a sacrifice bunt from catcher Ryne Stanley for the first out. Second baseman Tony Mack walked to place runners on the corners with one out, but a strikeout and a fly out ended the inning.
In the eighth inning, right fielder Dawnoven Smith nearly sent one out of the park as the ball hit the top of the fence, but settled for a doubt. A groundout ended that threat for the Aggies.
The Spartans were led by Kim going 2-for-5 with an RBI and a run scored, while Shimko added an RBI and Wilber scored a run. On the mound, Ben Ferrer pitched the first four innings allowing one run on three hits but Caleb Matthews (1-1) picked up the win in relief pitching the next four scoreless innings and Jacob Thiessen (1) picked up the save pitching the final one hitless innings.
The Aggies continue the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference (MEAC) schedule with the second-half of the MEAC schedule by hosting N.C. Central with a three-game series starting Friday at 6 p.m. at War Memorial Stadium.