GREENVILLE, S.C. – The season ended for the Wofford College baseball team with a 15-7 loss to UNCG on Friday afternoon in the 2018 Southern Conference Tournament at Fluor Field. The Spartans scored five runs in the third inning and four runs in the fourth inning to build a 9-4 lead. Wofford rallied with three runs in the bottom of the seventh to make it a 9-7 game, but UNCG answered with six runs in the ninth for the win.
Wofford, the #3 seed, ends the season at 36-21. It marked the second-most wins in school history for the Terriers. UNCG, the SoCon regular season champion and #1 seed, is 38-14 overall. The Terriers were led by McClain Bradley with two home runs and five RBIs, while Mack Nathanson had three hits. Andrew Moritz was 4-of-5 from the plate with three RBIs to lead the Spartans.
Both teams left one runner on base in the first inning. The Spartans had a single with two outs in the second, but the runner was caught stealing second to end the top half. Colin Davis led off the bottom of the second with a 359-foot home run to the first row of seats on the Green Monster for a 1-0 lead. It was his 13th home run of the season. Wofford left one runner on base at the end of the second inning.
The Spartans had a runner reach on an error to begin the third inning. A sacrifice bunt advanced the runner to second, while a walk and fielding error loaded the bases. A single drove in two runs for a 2-1 lead. With two outs, a three-run homer by Tripp Shelton increased the lead to 5-1. With one out in the bottom of the third, Mack Nathanson singled and McClain Bradley drove him home on a 390-foot shot over the Green Monster. The eighth home run of the season for Bradley cut the lead to 5-3. Andrew Orzel hit a double off the wall and stole third base, while he scored on a double to right center by Lawson Hill for a 5-4 game.
With one out in the top of the fourth, the Spartans had a single and a double. A run scored on a wild pitch and an RBI double gave UNCG a 7-4 lead. A single added a run and a sacrifice fly made it a 9-4 game. Wofford had one runner reach in the bottom of the fourth inning and the Spartans were retired in order in the top of the fifth inning. Mack Nathanson led off the bottom of the fifth with a single. With two outs he was caught stealing to end the inning.
In the top of the sixth, the Spartans had a single with one out before a double ended the half. With two outs in the bottom of the sixth, Max McDougald reached on an error and Reed Massey singled. A fly ball left both runners on base. UNCG left one runner stranded after a single in the top of the seventh inning. Brett Rodriguez led off the bottom of the seventh with a single and Mack Nathanson followed with a single through the left side. McClain Bradley cleared the Green Monster for the second time in the game and made it a 9-7 game. It was his ninth home run of the season and went 365 feet. Andrew Orzel was hit by a pitch and a single by Lawson Hill, along with a throwing error, had runners at second and third with one out. A fielder’s choice by Max McDougald resulted in Orzel being out at home. A strikeout ended the seventh with a pair of runners left in scoring position.
With one out in the top of the eight, rain moved into the area and the tarp was put on the field. After a 41-minute delay, the teams resumed play and the Spartans were retired in order. Wofford went in order to end the eighth inning. Austin Embler hit a solo home run for UNCG to lead off the ninth inning and take a 10-7 lead. After a hit by pitch and single, a double drove in a pair of runs for a 12-7 advantage. Another double was followed by a home run by Cesar Trejo for a 15-7 game. With one out in the bottom of the ninth, Andrew Orzel was hit by a pitch. A pair of strikeouts ended the contest.
Clay Schwaner (1-3) started for the Terriers and threw 2.2 innings with five unearned runs allowed on six hits. David Ehmen allowed four runs on four hits in two-thirds of an inning. Ty Reginelli worked two-thirds of an inning without allowing a hit and striking out one batter. Anthony Garcia went four innings with two runs allowed on three hits, while striking out three. Jake Hershman allowed four runs on four hits in a third of an inning. Grant Byers recorded the final two outs without allowing a hit.
UNCG starter Jake Lewis went 2.2 innings with four runs allowed on five hits, along with one strikeout. Easton Welch (5-1) threw 3.1 innings and allowed two runs on four hits with three strikeouts. Andrew Wantz earned his tenth save by going the last three innings with one run allowed on two hits, while striking out five.
UNCG advances to play #9 seed Western Carolina on Saturday, May 26 at 3:30 p.m.