GREENSBORO – It didn’t take long for junior right-hander Mitchell McQueen to pick up his first win as an Aggie.
It only took two hours and 101 pitches to be exact. McQueen was brilliant on Sunday for the North Carolina A&T baseball team as the Aggies closed out their three-game series with a 2-1 win over Marshall at War Memorial Stadium. A&T took two out of three from the Thundering Herd and improved to 3-2 on the season.
Senior Cameron Jergens, who drove in both Aggie runs on Saturday, delivered the fatal blow to the Herd (3-3) with what turned out to be a game-winning solo home run in the fourth. Brandon Wilkerson contributed offensively for the Aggies by going 2-for-3.
McQueen pitched a complete-game four-hitter. Only 31 of his pitches were called balls, he did not give up an extra base hit and he finished the game with five strikeouts.
“We were in a pitcher’s duel and Mitchell was on cue,” said A&T head coach Joel Sanchez. “He was locating and getting quick outs and getting ahead. He works really fast. That’s Mitchell. That’s the guy we thought we were getting when we recruited him.”
Marshall starter, right-hander Michael Taylor (1-1), did not have a bad outing either. He threw just 82 pitches over seven innings and scattered six hits. He did get off to a rough start, however, as the first three Aggies reached base in the first inning.
With the bases loaded and one out, Jergens hit a laser off Taylor’s foot. The ball rolled slowly to shortstop Sergio Leon who gathered the ball and threw out Jergens at first on a bang-bang play.
Leadoff hitter Ryan Hill scored on the groundout to give A&T a 1-0 lead.
Marshall gave Taylor some help in the third. Herd first baseman Spencer Iacovone received a one-out walk from McQueen. Corey Bird reached on an infield single and Chase Vogelbach scored Iacovone with a single to left to tie the game.
McQueen (1-1) retired the next seven batters he faced. When the string was broken with a walk to Vogelbach in the sixth, it was quickly rectified with a 6-4-3 double play to end the inning.
Jergens gave the Aggies the pop they needed as he led off the Aggies fourth with his first home run of the season. “He missed with a fastball and then went change up. I knew he had to come back fastball at some point, and I was ready for it,” said Jergens. “I put a good swing on it and knocked it out of the park.”
The Herd did get the tying run on in the ninth as Andrew Dundon placed a single just beyond the reach of second baseman Timothy Ravare into right field. But as McQueen did all afternoon with other Herd batters, he made quick work of Eric Escobedo by striking him out in five pitches to end the game.
“In my last outing against (N.C. State) I had a couple of walks here and there that allowed them to score,” said McQueen. “Today I just tried to throw strikes, fill up the zone and let them put the ball in play and let my defense work.”
The Aggies are back in action Wednesday afternoon when they host Elon at War Memorial Stadium at 3.