GREENSBORO, N.C. – With the UNCG baseball team trailing by three in the bottom of the ninth inning Sunday against Albany, junior catcher Cambric Moye (Goldsboro, N.C./Eastern Wayne) smashed a two-out, three-run home run to left field to send the game into extra innings where an error by Great Dane pitcher Kevin Archbold allowed freshman infielder Nin Marrero (Greensboro, N.C./Western Guilford) to score from second and give the Spartans a 9-8 victory at the UNCG Baseball Stadium.
Moye ended the contest 2-for-4 from the plate with three RBI while senior outfielder Christian Wolfe (Bel Air, Md./John Carroll) went 2-for-5 with a pair of RBI and senior infielder Lloyd Enzor (Whiteville, N.C./Southeastern CC) delivered two hits in five at bats.
“I’ve always said good things happen to great people and we saw that with Cambric’s heroics in the ninth,” head coach Link Jarrett said. “He has such a great work ethic and is always the first one to the clubhouse every day. I am really proud of our team for battling back late. We still have a long way to go in some areas but we will enjoy this one today.”
Earning his first win of the season was senior RHP Dominique Vattuone (Germantown, Md./Northwest) who threw one inning and struck out a batter. He entered in the top of the 10th with runners on first and second and no outs but kept Albany off of the board. UNCG used six pitchers in the contest with sophomore RHP Max Povse (Cary, N.C./Green Hope) earning the start. He pitched four innings, allowed five hits and three runs (two earned) and struck out five.
Albany broke onto the scoreboard first with an unearned run thanks to a RBI groundout by Greg Muller that scored Gordon Madej. Povse was able to escape further damage by striking out Brian Bullard looking to end the inning and leave runners on second and third.
The Blue and Gold answered in the bottom of the second as Moye worked a one-out walk and advanced to second on a groundout. He then reached third after a balk was called and freshman outfielder Julian Abreu (Miami, Fla./Florida Christian) followed with a walk. The Great Danes loaded the bases by hitting senior infielder TJ Spina (Newberry, Fla./Santa Fe) before Marrero drew another free pass – scoring Moye. Wolfe then laced a single through the left side to score Spina and Abreu.
Albany was able to tie the score in the top of the fourth with a pair of RBI singles before regaining the lead in the fifth via a two-out RBI single by Evan Harasta. The Great Danes looked to have put the game away in the eighth, scoring three runs with two outs. The big blow came off the bat of Nolan Gaige as he ripped a two-run home run to right field to extend the visitors’ lead to 7-3.
The Spartans did not go quietly, responding with two runs in the bottom of the frame. Senior designated hitter Trevor Edwards (Toronto, Ontario, Canada/Taddle Creek Academy) led off with a walk before Moye singled to center field and advanced to second on the outfielder’s throw to third. With two outs, Abreu reached on an error by the Great Dane first baseman which scored Edwards, and Spina doubled to left field to plate Moye and pull UNCG to within 7-5.
The visitors netted another unearned run in the top of the ninth on a double by Muller, moving in front by three runs and leaving the Spartans with one final chance.
Wolfe singled through the right side on a 3-2 pitch to begin the inning and Edwards followed with a one-out walk. Enzor struck out swinging to leave two outs on the board. Moye took the first two pitches of his at bat for balls before he turned on the next one and crushed it high over the left field wall to tie the game at eight. UNCG was able to work two more walks after Moye’s bomb, but Spina flew out to right field to strand those runners and send the game to extra innings.
After a pair of singles chased two Spartan pitchers in the top of the 10th, Vattuone came on and nailed Matt Hinchy at third on a fielder’s choice play to record the first out of the inning. The senior then fanned D.J. Hoagboon looking before getting Josh Nethaway to fly out to center and escape the jam.
Marrero drew a walk to begin the bottom of the 10th and was sacrificed to second on a bunt by Wolfe. After a strikeout by senior outfielder Zach Leach (Herndon, Va./Herndon), Edwards popped up a ball on the infield that Archbold dropped. The pitcher could not get a handle on the ball and Marrero slid into home safely for the winning run.
UNCG heads out on the road for the first time this season Tuesday, March 5, traveling to Greenville, N.C. for a nonconference contest at East Carolina. The Spartans and Pirates will get underway at 5 p.m. inside Clark-LeClair Stadium.
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 R H E Albany (1-7) 1 0 0 2 1 0 0 3 1 0 8 13 2 UNCG (6-3) 0 3 0 0 0 0 0 2 3 1 9 7 2
Win: Dominique Vattuone (1-0) – UNCG
Loss: Archbold, K. (0-1) – Albany
Submitted by Bill Ahrens