No. 8 Braves Complete Weekend Sweep Of Anderson
ANDERSON, S.C. – Erick Sanderson's grand slam in the bottom of the first inning gave Anderson the early edge, but No. 8 UNCP countered with 10 runs in the middle three innings to complete a weekend sweep of the Trojans with an 11-8 triumph in Sunday's series finale.
The result gave the Braves (3-0) their eighth-straight win in the series with Anderson (0-3), while also extending UNCP's regular season winning streak out to eight games as well. The Black & Gold is now 16-2 on season-opening weekends since 2008.
UNCP got eight two-hit performances from its batting order on the day, including one from preseason all-region selection Eitan Maoz who highlighted a 2-for-4 outing with a solo homer in the first. Aaron Parnell doubled twice and plated a pair of runs on a 2-for-4 outing, while Victor Zecca (2-for-5) and Tyler Potter (2-for-4) both booked triples in the outing. Thomas Padro and Brett Scarberry both turned in two-hit outings for Anderson, with Sanderson providing a bulk of the offense on just a 1-for-4 showing.
Brantley Hattrich (1-0) struck out seven across 4-2/3 hitless innings of relief work to pick up the win for UNCP, while all-American Braxton Lewis captured his second save of the weekend by working an uneventful ninth inning. Reliever Kyle Francis (0-1) took the loss for the Trojans despite allowing just two runs (one earned) on three hits. He was in the game long enough to record just two outs, however.
Maoz gave the visitors the early lead with his solo job in the opening frame, but UNCP starter Bryan Collins yielded singles to each of the first two batters in the bottom of the inning, and then loaded the bases by issuing a walk to Blake May. Sanderson's bomb would follow shortly thereafter.
The Braves tacked up a five-run fourth inning to take a short-lived 6-4 advantage, because Anderson would answer with four more runs in the bottom of the inning to take an 8-6 lead into the fifth. Three-straight two-out singles in the following frame would give the visitors the lead for good. Parnell's two-run double in the sixth would provide UNCP with insurance scores.
Hattrich was masterful from the hill despite inheriting a bases-loaded jam in the fourth. The Matthews native retired 14 of the 15 batters he faced in the contest, with the only baserunner of his appearance coming via an error by the Braves in the fifth.
UNCP will lift the lid on the home portion of its 2012 schedule on Tuesday when it welcomes Chowan to Sammy Cox Field for the first of a two-day, two-game series with the Hawks. Tuesday's and Wednesday's ball games are both slated for a 3 p.m. first pitch.