No. 25 UNCP Rallies To Win 11-Inning Series Finale

AMERICUS - The Georgia Southwestern baseball team was unable to hold on to a three-run lead and eventually dropped a 7-3 decision to No. 25 UNC Pembroke in 11 innings on Sunday afternoon at Hurricane Stadium in the weekend series finale.

The Hurricanes have lost seven of their last eight games and fall to 7-19 overall and 2-12 in conference play. UNCP improves to 20-6 and 9-6 in the PBC.

GSW struck first on Sunday with a pair of runs in the third inning. RBI singles from Jarrod Taylor and Stephen Eldridge gave the Hurricanes an early 2-0 advantage.

The lead was stretched to 3-0 when a bouncing ball off the bat of Les Cromer found its way through the right side of the infield and brought home Randall Sheffield from second base.

Hurricane starting pitcher Justin Lott cruised through the first six innings. After allowing two hits in the opening frame, Lott held UNCP hitless until the seventh. Lott struck out the side in the fifth while collecting a total of eight strikeouts in the game. Lott ran into trouble in the seventh inning when UNCP tied the contest behind three hits, including a triple from Zade Denton and a double from pinch hitter Victor Zecca.

Bray Bishop came out of the bullpen for GSW and threw three innings of scoreless relief to get the Hurricanes to the 11th inning. Bishop held UNCP to one hit, did not walk a batter and struck out four.

GSW had a couple of opportunities to win the game but the Braves came up with clutch defensive stops. In the eighth, Zecca robbed Randall Sheffield of a two-out RBI single with a diving catch in center. In the ninth, Josh Sanders slapped a two-out triple into the right-field corner for the 'Canes but was gunned down at home trying to stretch the play.

Denton drove home the deciding run in the 11th for UNCP with an RBI single to center. The next batter, Drew Cole, put an exclamation point on the comeback when he rocketed a three-run blast to right to round out the scoring.

Dale Innes pitched 4 2/3 innings of scoreless relief for UNCP starter Logan Cook, who did not factor into the decision. Patrick McMahon (4-0) kept GSW off the scoreboard over the final three frames for the win.

Zecca was a perfect 3-for-3 at the plate with a run scored. Denton and Cole added two hits apiece. Cole collected four RBIs and Denton added one.

Eldridge led GSW batters with his 3-for-5 performance. Eldridge belted a double and drove in a run. Cromer was 2-for-2 at the plate with a walk and a RBI.

The Hurricanes host Stillman College in a two-game series beginning Tuesday at 6 p.m.