MT. PLEASANT, S.C. – A RBI single by UNC Greensboro’s Thomas Troelstrup in the 11th inning spoiled a ninth-inning comeback by the College of Charleston as UNCG defeated the Cougars 5-4 in extra innings Friday evening at Patriots Point. The Cougars fall to 30-16 on the season and 14-8 in the Southern Conference, while UNCG improves to 26-17, and moves into sole possession of second place at 15-7 in the SoCon.
With the score knotted at 4-4, Trevor Edwards led off the 11th with a single up the middle for UNCG. A sacrifice bunt by Eric Brindle moved Edwards to second and a wild pitch by senior RHP Casey Lucchese (Lexington, Ky.) put the runner at third. Troelstrup drove a 2-1 pitch from Lucchese through the right side and plated Edwards for the go-ahead run. Charleston mounted a rally in the bottom of the frame but left a pair of runners on when redshirt-junior 3B Matt Leeds (Boca Raton, Fla.) flew out to center to end the game.
UNCG opened the game with a run in the top of the first for a 1-0 lead on a RBI single by Edwards that brought home Drew Gehringer. The Cougars took a 2-1 lead in the bottom of the fourth in style as Leeds and redshirt-freshman RF Daniel Aldrich (Mt. Pleasant, S.C.) opened the frame with back-to-back homers. The round-trippers were Leeds’ 16th and Aldrich’s 19th of the season.
The Spartans chipped away with single runs in the fifth, seventh and eighth innings to knot the game and take a 4-2 lead into the ninth. Charleston mounted a two-run comeback in its last at-bats to force extra innings. Senior CF Cole Rakar (Mt. Pleasant, S.C.) walked to open the ninth and junior 2B Rob Harding (Columbia, S.C.) drove him home with a RBI double down the left-field line to cut the deficit to one. A sacrifice bunt by senior C Robert Pritcher (Charleston, S.C.) moved Harding to third and redshirt-senior PH Ryan Daniels (Victoria, Texas) lifted a sacrifice fly deep enough to left to score Harding and tie the game.
Lucchese suffered the loss for Charleston, his first of the season, to fall to 3-1. Lucchese allowed one run on two hits in two innings of work. Junior starter Josh Renfro (Bradenton, Fla.) went six innings and gave up two runs – one earned – on six hits with five strikeouts.
Jonathan Jones (1-4) earned the win for UNCG, tossing 2-1/3 shutout innings, scattering two hits and striking out three. Edwards finished with three hits and two RBIs for the Spartans.
The two teams meet in game two of the three-game series Saturday evening at 7:00 p.m. and close out the series Sunday afternoon at 1:00 p.m.