DAVIDSON – North Carolina A&T right-hand starter Charles Cantrell had another solid outing, but Davidson’s relief pitching was too strong as the Wildcats earned a 3-1 win at Wilson Field during play at the Davidson tournament on Saturday. The Aggies lost their opening game in the tournament on Saturday, 15-0, to UMass.
Cantrell (2-1) went all eight innings, struck out five and gave up three earned runs. The Aggies jumped on right-hand starter Ryan Lowe early. Leadoff man Ryan Hill opened the game with a single through the right side. Brandon Wilkerson and Luke Tendler followed with walks to load the bases. Lester Salcedo then hit a one-out sacrifice fly to right field to score Hill for a 1-0 Aggies lead.
Cantrell lost his lead in the fourth inning as he forced in a run by hitting Ben Arkin with an 0-1 pitch with the bases loaded. Another run was forced in one batter later when Cantrell’s 3-2 pitch missed to Daniel Gerow to bring home Sam Foy for a 2-1 lead. Lee Miller scored the Wildcats’ final run with a solo home run in the sixth.
Lowe (1-0) picked up the win but did have some control issues throughout, walking five during his five innings of work. The Aggies had at least one runner on in every inning pitched, but could not capitalize on the free passes. The Wildcats replaced Lowe with Cody White in the sixth inning.
White got into trouble immediately. Salcedo singled with one out and was joined on the bases by Kyle Clary who reached second on an error by Davidson shortstop Sam Foy. Salcedo reached third on the error, but was caught in a rundown and was eventually tagged out by Davidson third baseman David Daniels. Brandon McMillan struck out to end the inning.
A&T threatened again with the tying run when Cameron Jergens doubled to right center in the eighth. The Wildcats turned to RHP Michael Goldberg who came in and got Salcedo to ground out.
Right-hander Matt Saeta came on in the ninth to close things. Pinch-hitter Dylan Hipp greeted him with a one-out single up the middle. After a Timothy Ravare strikeout, Brandon Mitchell kept the rally going with a single to left, advancing Hipp to third. Mitchell moved into scoring position with a stolen base. But Saeta got Hill to fly out on a 3-1 pitch to end the game.
Salcedo led the Aggies (6-6) by going 2-for-3 with an RBI. Foy had two hits for the Wildcats (4-6). In the earlier game against UMass, A&T All-American Luke Tendler went 4-for-4 with a double. The Aggies will play Davidson Sunday afternoon at 4.