UNCP Long Balls Key 12-5 Rout Of Eagles
PEMBROKE – UNCP registered its 13th double-digit hitting attack of the season and logged a season-best four home runs behind a career day from reliever Rudy Brown to clinch at least a tie in its weekend series with visiting Post with a 12-5 win over the Eagles Friday evening at Sammy Cox Field.
Seth Kivett blasted his fifth homer of the season, Jason Coker tallied his fourth and Derek Funk and Caleb Sutton each registered their first four-baggers of the season to key a 15-hit outing for the Braves (13-4) who matched a season-best winning streak with their fourth-straight victory. Sutton led the Black and Gold with four RBI on the day, while fellow newcomer Jordan Pegram turned in a team-best three hits and as many runs scored for his eighth multi-hit game of the season. Three players recorded two hits apiece for Post (0-2).
UNCP starter Josh Bagley yielded seven hits and four earned runs across 3-1/3 innings from the mound before giving way to the freshman Brown (3-0) struck out nine and allowed just two hits and one earned run in 5-2/3 innings of relief to pick up the win. Starter Michael Wolfe (0-1) took the loss for the Eagles, surrendering five hits and as many earned runs before being lifted with no outs in the bottom of the second.
UNCP got a three-run bomb from Kivett, as well as a RBI single from Whitman, to grab a 4-0 lead in the first, but pounded out five more hits over the next two innings to take a 9-2 lead into the fourth. Post inched to within five on Jim Conto’s two-run double in the fourth, but the Braves answered with a fourth-inning RBI single by Sutton and a solo homer by Funk in the fifth to push their lead back out to seven, 11-4, after the fifth.
Jeff Lundell homered to lead off the sixth for the Eagles, but Brown allowed little else, retiring 12 of the next 13 Eagles to slam the door on any rally attempt. Kyle Adair would put the final run of the game up on the board for UNCP on a ground out in the seventh that plated Coker easily from third base.
Barring a complete washout on Saturday, the squads will continue their rare four-game series on Saturday with a time yet to be determined. A start time will be announced on Saturday morning.