GREENSBORO - Four early errors cost the North Carolina A&T
baseball team in a 10-4 loss on Friday afternoon in the series opener against
Binghamton at War Memorial Stadium.
The Aggies brought the go-ahead run to the plate twice in
the middle innings, but a late push by Binghamton put the game away for
"It was a rough start, a rough first inning. We kicked the ball around a little bit. It's kind of tough to talk about when you
start that rough," said A&T head coach Joel Sanchez, who saw his team drop
their third straight game. The Aggies
have totaled 14 errors in the last three games.
"We've got to get out and play hard-nosed baseball."
The Bearcats (5-4) scored three runs, all with two outs, on a
pair of middle infielder errors in the first inning. But the Aggies (4-8) responded in their first
Reigning MEAC Player of the Week Luke Tendler led off with a
double to left-center field. A two-run
RBI double off the left field wall by senior Kelvin Freeman made it a 3-2 game
in the bottom of the first. Tendler went
2-for-4 in the game with two runs, while Freeman went 3-for-3 with a walk and
"They've been the core of the offense," Sanchez said of
Tendler and Freeman. "Again, they had another
good day. We just need to have the rest
of the group on board. Those guys have
been swinging the bat well and we continue to struggle after we get through
them [in the batting order]. We need to
get more guys on base for them. We need
to bring runs in."
Binghamton added two more runs in the top of the second, following
back-to-back errors by freshman shortstop Jeovanny Tolentino.
A&T senior starter Brent Moore retired the next six batters
to help keep the Aggies within striking distance. An RBI single by second baseman Daniel Nevares
made it a 6-2 game for Binghamton in the top of the fifth.
"Brent was pitching like Brent-throwing strikes and keeping
guys off balance. He got a lot of ground
balls. Unfortunately, we didn't back him up defensively early," Sanchez said.
In the A&T fifth, Tendler and left fielder Andre McKoy
singled with two outs to start a rally.
Freeman singled to center field to bring home both runners to make it a
6-4 game. A single by junior Cameron
Jergens put two on and brought the go-ahead run to the plate, but senior right
fielder Dairio Little flew out to right to end the rally.
In the bottom of the sixth, the Nales singled up the middle
to put two on for the Aggies. Tendler
came up to the plate, representing the go-ahead run. But he popped out to short to end the inning
and the A&T threat. The Aggies were
unable to get a runner past second base after that, as reliever Mike Kaufman
effectively shut down the A&T offense, as he picked off the only two Aggies
to reach first.
In the seventh, right-hander Jamal Clark came on to relieve
Moore. He gave up a 3-run homer to first
baseman Jordan Smucker, which made it a 9-4 game.
The Aggies will host Binghamton in a doubleheader starting
at 1 p.m., on Saturday at War Memorial Stadium.
A&T right-hander Josh Ganus (2-0) is slated to start Game 1 against
RHP Jay Lyn (0-1). In Game 2, RHP Tyler
Boone (0-0) will take the hill for the Aggies against LHP Mike Meleski (0-1).
"We need to go out there and win a baseball game
[tomorrow]. I think both of the guys
will give us a good chance to keep us in the game. We just have to make the plays for them
defensively," Sanchez said.