SAVANNAH, Ga. - Xavier Macklin and Kelvin Freeman homered, and the Aggies held off a late Savannah State rally to earn a 10-8 win over the Tigers in the first game of a Saturday baseball doubleheader played at Tiger Field. The Aggies lost the seven-inning second game 4-2.
The Aggies took control of the game in the third with an impressive six-run inning. Andre McKoy opened the scoring with an RBI single to center field to score Carvell Copeland who moved into scoring position thanks to a single and an error. Luke Tendler provided run No. 2 with an RBI double to left field.
Dairio Little scored two more Aggie runs with an RBI single that plated Macklin and Tendler for a 5-4 Aggies lead. Freeman solidified the strong inning with a two-run homer to left field. The Aggies steadily added to their lead. Mark Nales produced an RBI in the fifth. Marquis Riley flew out to center field that allowed Stefan Jordan to score on a sacrifice fly. Carvell Copeland made it 10-5 with an RBI single in the seventh.
The Tigers battled back, however. An error and a Chris Arnold RBI single helped the Tigers score two runs in the eighth. They moved to within two on a Matthew Nowacki RBI single in the ninth. But with the tying run on first, reliever Ryan Carlton got Dychal Bowles hit into a force play to end the game.
Copeland led the Aggies with three hits. Freeman, Tendler and Jordan had two hits apiece. Freeman and Little had two RBIs apiece.
Copeland had two additional hits in the second game. N.C. A&T took a 1-0 lead in the third as Nales reached second thanks to an error. A second Tigers' error allowed Nales to score. Savannah State answered with two runs in its half of the third. Macklin tied the game at two on his second home run of the day.
The home run was Macklin's 19th of the year. It gives him 46 home runs for his career. Matthew Oglesby had the final rebuttal as his RBI single gave the Tigers the lead for good. With the doubleheader split, the Aggies moved their record to 20-31. Savannah State is 28-23.
Esterlin Paulino (6-5) held on for the win in Game 1. Nick Oelker (7-3) endured the loss in the second game.