DAVIDSON – North Carolina A&T got into an offensive slugfest with Davidson Wednesday night before the Wildcats scored late to defeat the Aggies 12-10 at Wilson Field.
Sophomore Zach McLean went 2-for-4 with four RBI including a home run. Senior Dawnoven Smith also homered and he drove in three runs. McLean and Smith are tied for the team lead in home runs with six apiece. Junior Dustin Baber went 2-for-5 with two runs scored and an RBI.
Baber opened the game with a double which was later complemented by Smith’s home run to give the Aggies a 2-0 lead. The Wildcats (22-18) scored six unanswered runs to take a 6-2 lead.
The Aggies (23-20) responded in the fourth as junior Jarrett Norman scored on a throwing error. McLean then hit an RBI double to score sophomore Shane Faulk who reached on a fielder’s choice and advanced to second on a throwing error.
Davidson scored three more runs in their half of the fourth to take a 9-4 lead. But N.C. A&T put together a big six inning to take the lead. The frame included the Aggies putting together seven hits. Junior Ryne Stanley earned an infield single and moved to second a wild pitch. Junior Cam Williamson, who entered the game in the sixth, earned another infield single to put runners on the corner.
McLean cleared the bases with a three-run home run to get the Aggies to within two runs at 9-7. Senior Brandon Melendez kept the momentum going with a single to left field followed by a single from freshman Tony Mack. Baber brought Melendez home with an RBI single and moved to second on an error. On the same error, Mack scored to tie the game at 9.
After a pop out, Smith recorded the Aggies third infield single of the inning as Baber would score on the play thanks to an error at first base. The Aggies came away from the inning by regaining the lead at 10-9.
The Wildcats tied the game on a solo home run from Ruben Fontes in the seventh and they took the lead on a solo home run from Matt Frey in the same inning. Davidson added a run in the eighth as Brett Centracchio doubled and was brought home thanks to an RBI single Justin Lebek to give Davidson a 12-10 lead.
In the ninth, the Aggies had a chance to reclaim the lead as Smith opened the inning by reaching on an error. Stanley put the go-ahead run at the plate by singling to right field. Pinch runner Dontae Wade and Stanley moved into scoring position on a groundout by Williamson.
But the game came to an end with McLean grounded out. Senior Roberto Negron (1-3) took the loss while Pete Bloomberg (2-1) got the win. Gabe Levy earned his seventh save of the season.
The Aggies will travel to Savannah, Ga., this weekend to start a three-game Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference (MEAC) series with the Savannah State Tigers. N.C. A&T heads into the weekend with an 11-6 conference record which is good enough for first place in the MEAC Southern Division.