EAST GREENSBORO – Junior Cam Williamson hit a two-out three-run home run in the fifth inning to lift the North Carolina A&T baseball team to a 7-5 win over UNC Greensboro Wednesday night at First National Bank Field, home of the Class A Greensboro Grasshoppers.
Williamson went 3-for-4 on the day with two runs scored and four RBI. It was Williamson fourth multiple-hit game and his third multiple-RBI game of the season. Senior Jason King had a 2-for-3 night with two runs scored. Junior Dustin Baber scored three times.
It was just the Aggies 11th win over UNCG in 52 tries. But the Aggies (11-9) have won three out of the last five and the last two matchups including last season’s 3-2 win over the Spartans.
N.C. A&T trailed 4-3 going into the fifth inning after falling behind 3-0 in the first inning to UNCG. King and Baber singled before freshman Donte Wade and senior A.J. Hunt were struck out by UNCG RHP Corey Jackson who relieved starter Maddux Holshouser (LHP). Jackson appeared headed toward another strikeout when his first two pitches to Williamson went for strikes.
But Williamson took the third pitch he saw and landed over the right-center wall toward downtown Greensboro to give the Aggies a 6-4 lead. The Aggies added to that lead in the sixth inning when junior Zach McLean doubled and reach third base on an error. Freshman Tony Mack brought him home by grounding out to third to put the Aggies in front by three runs.
For most of the game, the Aggies relied on what has been a very good bullpen this season. Five Aggies came out of the bullpen to combine to pitch six innings where only one run was surrendered on two hits and two walks.
Freshman LHP Peyton Winebarger replaced junior RHP Justin Fox with the bases loaded and two outs in the fifth. Winebarger got Josh Madole to ground out to second to end the Spartans threat and keep the Aggies in the lead.
Senior RHP Leon Davidson replaced Winebarger with two outs and UNCG runners on third and second with one out in the seventh. Davidson did get UNCG’s Ryan Caveness to ground out to third, but Greg Hardison did score from third to cut the Aggies lead to 7-5. Davidson ended the inning by striking out Madole.
In the eighth, senior RHP Roberto Negron set the Spartans down in order before the Aggies were able to add a run in the ninth inning off an RBI single from Wade that scored Baber for an 8-5 advantage. Negron retired the side in order again in the ninth to earn the save. Winebarger (1-0) picked up the win after pitching 1 2/3 innings.
Jackson (2-3) took the loss for UNCG. After facing a 3-0 deficit early in the game, the Aggies got a run back in the second inning when a Williamson single and a double from senior Dawnoven Smith led to an RBI sacrifice fly from McLean. The Aggies tied the game at 3 in the third inning as King doubled and Baber walked.
King and Baber advanced on a passed ball before Hunt grounded out to score King. Williamson followed with an RBI single to left field to score Baber to make a 3-3 game. UNCG did retake the lead on an RBI sac fly in the third before the Aggies big fifth inning.
UNCG was led Caleb Webster who went 2-for-3 with two runs scored.
N.C. A&T returns to action over the weekend when they start a three-game series with Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference (MEAC) opponent Bethune-Cookman. The first game is 6 p.m., Friday in Daytona Beach, Fla. Saturday’s game starts at 4 p.m., and Sunday’s series finale is at noon.