GREENSBORO (March 16, 2018) – Sophomore Camden Williamson led the Aggies to their second extra-inning victory of the season by hitting a walk-off home run in the 13th inning to lift North Carolina A&T to a 5-4 win over St. Bonaventure Friday night in non-conference baseball at War Memorial Stadium.
Williamson went 2-for-2 which also included a pinch-hit two-run RBI double in the eighth that sent the game into extra innings tied at 4.
“Credit goes to Camden Williamson for coming off the bench. He had the game-tying hit driving in two and then turns around and ends the game with a walk-off home run,” said N.C. A&T coach Ben Hall. “Having a guy like that come off the bench and impact the game like that is awesome. That means that he is tuned-in and ready to play.”
Aggies right-hand reliever Josh Stikeleather (1-0) was excellent in extra innings. In 3.2 innings pitched, he posted seven strikeouts and did not give up a run or a hit. N.C. A&T pitching had a season-high 18 strikeouts as a unit with starter Tim Luth (RHP) earning six of them. He tossed 6.1 innings, walked four and gave up four earned runs. The last St. Bonaventure hit came in the seventh inning. Senior relief RHP Josh Bottenfield and K.J. McAlister and junior Leon Hunter went a combined three innings and had a combined five strikeouts before Stikeleather’s appearance to hold the Bonnies scoreless.
“To see our pitchers throw that well was great,” said Hall. “Tim Luth gave us a quality start and every guy that came out of the pen impacted the game in a positive manner. All four guys out of the bullpen were outstanding and Stikeleather took us home. He was going to go as long as he could go. To go out there and pitch like that, fill the zone up and keep us out of stressful innings was outstanding.”
Offensively, the Aggies (7-11) stole five bases led by Williamson and Forest Kimbrell’s two apiece. Senior Adan Ordonez and junior A.J. Hunt had two hits apiece with Hunt also scoring three runs.
“It was a toughness game by it being back and forth all day,” said Hall. “I am proud of our guys for sticking with it. It is really easy when you are not having success in the box during a long game like that to start giving at-bats away.”
N.C. A&T fell behind in the seventh on back-to-back singles by Mike Magnanti and Brandon Henshaw followed by a walk to Ryan MacCarrick to load the bases for St. Bonaventure (3-9). The Aggies made a pitching change and then a wild pitch scored the Bonnies first run of the inning. The next two runs came on a single to left field by Tyler Kelder to give the Bonnies a 4-1 lead.
But the Aggies responded in their half of the eighth. Junior Dawnoven Smith’s RBI doubled scored Hunt to cut the Bonnies advantage to 4-2, setting up Williamson’s big pinch-hit RBI single as he replaced James Rorie and scored Smith and Greg White from the basepaths to tie the game.
N.C. A&T got on board first with Hunt leading the fourth inning off with a triple to
The teams will play their second game of the weekend series 3 p.m., Saturday at War Memorial Stadium.