Nick Starnes pitched 6 2/3 shutout innings in relief and Cory Overholtzer drove in the go-ahead run with a bases loaded walk in the seventh inning as UNC Greensboro rallied to beat 27th-ranked College of Charleston, 10-5, in the rubber game of its three-game Southern Conference series before 247 rain-soaked fans at Patriots Point Field on Sunday.
With the win, UNCG improved to 27-25 overall and 13-11 in league play. The Cougars, who lost a league series for just the second time since 2003, fell to 37-15 and 18-6. Both teams weathered a 1-hour, 21-minute rain delay in the bottom of the first inning. The Cougars are tied with Western Carolina for the top spot in the league standings with just three games remaining. The Cougars host Davidson next week, while the Catamounts play host to Georgia Southern.
The Cougars, who play at Clemson at 7:15 on Tuesday, open the series with Davidson at 6:00 on Thursday and conclude the regular season with a 3:00 doubleheader on Friday. WCU plays GSU at 7:00 on Thursday and Friday and conclude the series with a 2:00 first pitch on Saturday. Charleston, by virtue of sweeping WCU earlier this season in a three-game series, holds the tiebreaker for the SoCon Tournament's top seed.
Trailing 5-4 entering the seventh, UNCG loaded the bases with two outs and tied the game when Brandon Harvey’s grounder back to the mound was bobbled for an error allowing Tim Carrier to score to tie the game at 5-5. Overholtzer followed with a four-pitch walk that forced in Ricky Orton for a 6-5 UNCG lead. A two-run single by Adam Deleo, a Charleston error and a RBI single by Sam Martin closed out the six-run uprising and gave the Spartans a 10-5 lead.
Starnes (5-4), who picked up the win, came on in relief in the third inning and after allowing an RBI double to Alex Garabedian, blanked the Cougars on just six hits with three strikeouts the rest of the way. Jake Goldberg (6-1) suffered his first loss of the season surrendering three unearned runs in 3 2/3 innings of work.
UNCG built a 3-1 third inning lead getting a sacrifice fly from Guy Welsh in the first, an RBI single by Carrier in the second and a run-producing grounder from Harvey in the third.
Charleston answered in the third with four runs. Graham Maiden, who finished with four hits, had a RBI single to left, Ben Lasater belted a two-run double to left center and Garabedian lashed an RBI double to left that gave CofC a 5-3 lead. Matt Gaski’s run-producing grounder in the fourth cut Charleston’s lead to 5-4.