A&T Strands Multiple Runners In Loss To Campbell
BUIES CREEK, N.C.—Thirteen was not a lucky figure for the North Carolina A&T baseball team on Tuesday evening at Jim Perry Stadium, as the Aggies left a season-high 13 runners on base, and also issued 13 free passes to Campbell in a 10-2 loss.
Junior shortstop Luke Tendler went 4-for-4 and scored one of the A&T runs. It was the most hits in a game by an Aggie this season. The Aggies (11-22) totaled 10 hits on the evening, but struggled to capitalize on scoring opportunities, stranding at least one runner in eight innings. That was not a problem for the Fighting Camels (29-5) who recorded 11 hits and 10 walks off of six A&T pitchers on the evening.
“It’s tough to look at the scoreboard,” said A&T head coach Joel Sanchez, noting that the two teams posted similar numbers in the hits and errors column, but that those similarities weren’t reflected in the run totals. “We walked 10 guys, three hit batters. We’ve got to be better than that on the mound. We had a couple of guys who struggled to throw strikes. We were working behind all day. For first-pitch strikes, I think we had seven out of like 50.”
After facing just three batters in the first, A&T starter Kirby Whicker (2-2) ran into trouble in the second, giving up six runs on six hits and an error. Camels center fielder Ben McQuown had the biggest impact with a three-run RBI triple off the left-centerfield wall to make it a 5-0 contest. Sanchez then called on sophomore Jamal Clark to relieve freshman Whicker. The Aggies threw out McQuown at home for the second out frame, but another run scored on an RBI single by second baseman Michael Felton.
The Aggies scratched a run in the third as junior designated hitter Cameron Jergens singled through the left side to score Tendler. But the Aggies left the bases loaded in the fourth inning.
The Camels juiced the bases in their fourth on a single and two walks to start the frame. Sophomore Shane Carter entered to relieve Clark. Felton flew out to right, and sophomore Dylan Hipp fired in his throw to catcher Stefan Jordan to put out Brown at home for the double play. With runners in scoring position, Carter tried to catch the runner at second. But no A&T infielder was covering the bag, so the throw went into the outfield grass. Campbell scored on the throwing error to make it 7-1.
The Camels loaded the bases again in the fifth, and scored a run as Brent Graham grounded out.
The Aggies pulled within five runs in the sixth. Sophomore Brandon Wilkerson tripled to left-centerfield to start things off. He scored on a sacrifice fly to right by freshman Jeovanny Tolentino, sliding under the tag at the plate. Tendler picked up his fourth hit of the game with a single to right to keep the offense going, but the Camels put out the next two batters to end the frame.
A&T left three runners total in the seventh and eighth frames.
The Aggies will travel to Boiling Springs, N.C. to take on Gardner-Webb in a three-game series, with a 6 p.m. game on Friday and a doubleheader starting at 1 p.m. on Saturday.