BOILING SPRINGS, N.C – Freshman Jeovanny Tolentino singled to left field to score Stefan Jordan from second base in the ninth inning as the Aggies snapped a two-game skid in a 6-5 win over Gardner-Webb Friday night in the first game of a three-game series at JH Moss Stadium.
Tolentino’s heroics were set up by a double down the right field line by Jordan. Reliever Tim Jones (1-2) held the Bulldogs scoreless in the home ninth, allowing a two-out single to Scott Coleman, who represented the tying run before first baseman Brad Collins popped out to end the game.
Junior Luke Tendler, who went 3-for-3 with an RBI and a run scored, was perfect at the plate for the second straight game as the Aggies defeated the Runnin’ Bulldogs for the first time since 2008. It wasn’t easy.
The Aggies took a 3-0 lead in the third frame. Sophomore Brandon Wilkerson doubled to right to get things started, and scored as Tendler doubled to bring him home. Freeman hit a sacrifice fly to make it a 2-0 game. Junior Cameron Jergens hit an RBI double to help A&T widen the gap.
But the Bulldogs pulled within one run in the fourth. Benji Jackson doubled and scored on an RBI triple by Coleman. Coleman scored as Collins grounded out to Tendler at short.
A&T added two more in the fifth. Tendler hit a one-out single. Hipp then hit into a fielder’s choice, which was nearly a double-play. The relay throw was dropped at first base as Hipp reached safely. With the inning still alive, Freeman slammed a two-run shot over the fence in left-center to put the Aggies in front, 5-2. It was his eighth home run of the year.
The Bulldogs scored their third run in the fifth. Hodge singled to left-center, stole second and scored on a throwing error by Jordan, who attempted to throw him out at second.
The Bulldogs had back-to-back doubles to lead off the eighth inning. With two out, a single by designated hitter Adam Tiller tied the game at 5. The Bulldogs got two runners on, and A&T head coach Joel Sanchez called on Jones to relieve starter Brent Moore. Jones got JJ Nazarro to ground out to end the inning.
Moore allowed all five Gardner-Webb runs on 13 hits, and struck out four in 7.2 innings of work. Six of the eight A&T hits were for extra-bases, including five doubles. The Aggies will face off against the Bulldogs in a doubleheader on Saturday starting at 1 p.m.