SAVANNAH, Ga. – The North Carolina A&T baseball team recovered from a less than stellar performance in Game 1 of a doubleheader against Savannah State to blow out the Tigers 15-1 at Tiger Field on Saturday. The Aggies lost the first game 10-0 in seven innings because of the 10-run deficit rule.
A&T right-hand starter Charles Cantrell (4-1) continued his stellar season by pitching a complete-game five hitter where he struck out two. Cantrell lowered his ERA to 1.63. The Aggies took care of him offensively over the first three innings of the game. The Aggies posted three runs in their second thanks in part to a two-run RBI triple by Dylan Hipp.
The Aggies put the game away in the third as senior Luke Tendler led off the third with a walk and moved to second on a wild pitch. Junior catcher Lester Salcedo drove him home with an RBI single to right field. Designated hitter Stefan Jordan kept the inning going with another single. Runners moved to second and third thanks to another wild pitch.
To be the force back on, Savannah State right-hand starter Zach McCormick intentionally walked Ryan Hill to load the bases. Unfortunately for McCormick he hit Ernesto Lizardi with a 1-2 pitch to force in a run to give the Aggies a 5-0 lead. With the bases still loaded, the Tigers turned RHP Ethan Glass. Glass gave up an RBI single to Kyle Clary with the first pitch he threw.
After Hipp grounded out to first to drive in the Aggies’ seventh run, Brandon Wilkerson reached on an error by SSU shortstop Devin Jackson, allowing Lizardi to score. Afther the Tigers to turned to Ian Farris on the mound, Luke Tendler closed out the scoring in the third with an RBI single as A&T took a commanding 9-0 lead.
The only run Cantrell surrounded was on an RBI groundout in the fourth. Tendler went 2-for-3 with three RBI and two runs scored, including a home run. Salcedo, Jordan and Clary also had two hits with Clary adding three runs scored to his totals. Hipp had three RBI.
A&T and Savannah State (8-14, 2-6 MEAC) will conclude their series Sunday afternoon at 1. The Aggies (10-12, 5-3 MEAC) head into Sunday’s game with a half-game lead over Bethune-Cookman in the MEAC southern division.