SPARTANBURG, S.C. – A 10th-inning walk-off RBI single to complete a late-inning comeback as the North Carolina A&T baseball team lost to the University of South Carolina Upstate, 4-3 in 10 innings at Harley Park on Wednesday.
The Aggies (16-13) were led by junior Dustin Baber who went 2-for-5 with two RBI. Junior Jarrett Norman was 2-for-4 with a run scored. Senior Dawnoven Smith also had two hits.
N.C. A&T sent seven players to the mound with Jeremiah Foster pitching most of the game as he pitched four innings, gave up one run and struck out four.
Thanks in part to Foster’s stellar pitching, the Aggies were able to grab a lead with him on the bump. That lead lasted until the eighth inning as the Aggies entered the frame leading 3-1
With senior RHP Walfrank Pineiro on the mound, Jason Matthews led off the eighth with a double. He advanced to third on a groundout and scored on a wild pitch to bring the Spartans to within one, 3-2. Upstate put two more runners on in the inning, but senior RHP Roberto Negron came on to get the Aggies out of the inning without further damage done.
But in the ninth, Negron walked Hunter Hice walked. Hice eventually stole second and moved to third on a single by Jack Hennessy. Senior RHP Tim Luth replaced Negron to face Matthews. But an error allowed Matthews to reach and Hice to score to tie the game at 3. Junior RHP Michael Johnson entered the game for the Aggies to help end the inning with a double play.
In the 10th, the Spartans (13-16) ended the game when Jeff Taylor singled up the middle to score Garett Wallace who reached on a walk and moved to second on a sacrifice bunt.
Freshman RHP Scott Meitzler (0-1) took the loss while Will Wheeler (3-1) got the win in relief after pitching two innings. Sophomore LHP Ethan Chavis got the start for N.C. A&T.
The Aggies took an early 1-0 lead on an RBI single by Brandon Melendez that scored Meitzler in the third inning. The Spartans tied the game at 1 in the fourth before the Aggies took a two-run lead in the fifth as Norman opened the frame with a double.
A single by sophomore Justin Williams and walk Meitzler loaded the bases for Baber who hit a two-run RBI double to left to give the Aggies a 3-1 lead before Upstate’s rally.
Upstate was led by Wallace who went 3-for-4 with a run scored. The Aggies return to conference play this weekend when they travel to Tallahassee, Fla., to face the Florida A&M Rattlers in a three-game series starting 6 p.m., Friday.