Three-Run Ninth Leads to Aggies Loss
GREENSBORO (March 3, 2018) – For the second consecutive game North Carolina A&T baseball committed an error that allowed Bucknell to come from behind for a win. In the second game of a three-game weekend series at War Memorial Stadium, Bucknell scored three runs in the ninth, aided by an Aggie error, to give the Bison a 7-5 win Saturday afternoon. The final game of the series is 1 p.m., Sunday at WMS.
Junior infielder AJ Hunt recorded his first multiple-hit game of the season, going 3-for-4 with two RBI. Senior designated hitter Jarrett Norman also had a two RBI while freshman Justin Williams tallied his third multi-hit game with two hits including his second home run of the season.
But it was Bucknell’s ninth that proved costly. The Aggies led 5-4 going into the frame, but Evan Madigan’s RBI double down the right-field line to score pinch runner Ben Smith. The throw back into the infield was overthrown, allowing Luke Hartman who singled, to score from third to give the Bison the lead at 6-5. Dominic Toso added an insurance run with a sacrifice fly to shallow right to score Madigan for the 7-5 lead.
Bucknell reliever Jack Simpson (RHP) committed a one-out error in the Aggies ninth, allowing Williams to reach second and the tying run to come to the plate in senior Myles Sowell. Sowell also reached on an error to put the go-ahead run at the plate in senior Greg White. White hit into a fielder’s choice, forcing out Sowell at second, while he reached first and Williams went to third. But Simpson struck out Rivera to end the game.
Simpson (1-3) got the win in relief of Bucknell starter Jeff Gottesman. Junior RHP Leon Hunter (0-1) took the loss in relief despite striking out two batters in one inning of work. Senior Marcello Betances made his third start of the season and tossed six innings, fanning four and walking one.
Prior to Bucknell’s ninth inning comeback, the Aggies made a rally of their own. Trailing Bucknell 4-0 heading into the fourth inning, the Aggies tied the game with three hits and a fielding error started by a Sowell single to center field. White singled to left field followed by senior Adan Ordonez drawing a walk to load the bases. With two outs the Bison committed an error on a Jarrett Norman grounder which sent both Sowell and White home. With runners on second and third, Hunt singled up the middle to keep the Aggies fourth-inning rally going as Ordonez and Norman crossed home plate to tie game at 4.
A seventh inning solo home run by Williams to right-center field put the Aggies in front going into the Bucknell eighth. RHP Josh Bottenfield had another good outing for the Aggies as he kept the Bison scoreless in the eighth and pitched 1.1 innings of scoreless baseball to lower his ERA to 0.82 in 11 innings pitched this season.