|First-Place UNCG Rallies Past ASU Baseball|
|Written by Mike Flynn|
|Saturday, 19 March 2011 09:37|
UNC Greensboro scored two runs in the sixth inning and two more in the seventh to top Appalachian State University baseball, 5-3, on Friday night at UNCG Baseball Stadium.Appalachian (8-10, 0-7 SoCon) grabbed a 3-1 advantage with single runs in the second, third and fourth innings before first-place UNCG (12-5, 4-0 SoCon) rallied for its sixth-straight win and eighth victory in its last nine games.
ASU’s fifth-consecutive loss was punctuated by a pair of issues that have plagued it throughout a stretch of nine losses in last 12 games — an inability to close out innings defensively and stranding runners on base offensively.
Despite leaving the bases loaded in the top of the sixth, it appeared that the Mountaineers would carry their 3-1 lead into the seventh inning when starting pitcher Ryan Arrowood (Rutherfordton, N.C./Central) (2-1) easily retired the first two UNCG batters in the bottom of the frame. However, the Spartans strung together a single, double, walk and another single with two outs to knot the score at 3-3.
Appalachian was poised to retake the lead in the top of the seventh when it put runners on second and third with just one out but back-to-back strikeouts stranded the runners in scoring position and the score remained 3-3. Buoyed by a leadoff walk, an error on a sacrifice bunt and a wild pitch, UNCG scored twice more in the bottom of the stanza to take a 5-3 lead.
ASU brought the tying run to the plate in the eighth and ninth innings but was unable to push any runs across against Greensboro’s Jarrett Miller (2-1), who closed out the game with 2.2 innings of scoreless relief to earn the win.
In all, the Mountaineers left 11 runners on base, marking the sixth time this season that they stranded double-digit baserunners. Of UNCG’s nine hits, five came with two outs, further frustrating an ASU pitching staff that has allowed opponents to hit .344 with two outs over the past 12 games.
The first three hitters in Appalachian’s lineup — Tyler Zupcic (Charlotte, N.C./Providence) (2-for-5, RBI, run), Trey Holmes (Rockwell, N.C./East Rowan) (3-for-5) and Jack Myers (Charlotte, N.C./Myers Park) (2-for-5, run) — accounted for seven of the club’s 11 hits.
Trevor Edwards went 3-for-4 with a double, home run, two RBI and two runs scored to lead UNCG.
The Mountaineers will look to rebound on Saturday when the two teams meet for the second of three games at UNCG Baseball Stadium. First pitch is set for 1 p.m.
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