PEMBROKE — The 16th-ranked University of North Carolina at Pembroke baseball team scored six runs in the bottom of the fourth to forge an early 9-2 lead, but one inning changed all that.
Visiting Catawba sent 18 batters to the plate in a 13-run fifth inning to spark a 16-10 upset win over the Braves on Wednesday at Cox Field.
It was the second-straight home loss for the Braves (25-10) and the team’s first loss when scoring more than six runs.
Brandon Estrain (0-2), the second of four pitchers in the top of the fifth for UNCP, saddled the loss after allowing six runs, four earned, on two hits and a trio of walks while recording just one out. Michael Trombino (1-2) grabbed the win for Catawba after turning in four hitless innings of relief. He also struck out two.
Daniel Fraga and Ben Schmucker each had three-hit nights to lead a 15-hit attack and Jordan Edgerton and Dalton Knight tallied two hits each. Julio Zubillaga drove in two runs and scored twice on a 4-for-5 hitting line for the Indians.
Catawba cut into an early 3-0 deficit with two runs in the fourth, but the Braves answered with six runs of their own to take a seemingly commanding seven-run advantage. The Indians sent their entire order to the plate and scored nine times before the Black & Gold was able to record an out in the fifth, and a costly fielding error – one of three in the frame for the hosts – led to four additional runs.
UNCP will close out a nine-game home stand on Friday against Wingate (23-10). First pitch is set for 6 p.m.
Softball loses in extra innings
FLORENCE, S.C. – Francis Marion’s Kristie Hanewinckel had a final hit along the left field line to score Briana Barzolalf for the game-winning run in the ninth inning of a 3-2 win against UNCP on Wednesday, finishing a doubleheader sweep.
With the loss, UNCP (17-19, 5-9 PBC) suffered its seventh-straight defeat, while Francis Marion (20-20, 6-8) swept its second league twinbill.
The Braves finished the game with five hits, one each Whitney Jackson, Kaytee Wilson, Brea Hartley, Taylor Cloninger and Shelby Holland.
Junior Selena Ashley (7-9) went eight complete innings and allowed all three earned runs on nine hits and four walks for the loss.
UNCP continues its road trip on Saturday at USC Aiken.
Tennis edged out by Lander
GREENWOOD, S.C. — The UNCP tennis team put up a fight with Peach Belt Conference foe Lander but finished one win short, falling 5-4 on Wednesday. It was Landers’ seventh straight win against the Braves.
“Even though we came up short today I can see our progress. Things are falling into place and right now we just need full effort from each member of the team every time we step out on the court,” said UNCP coach Robin Langley. “We had great performances from Gabby and Leigh-Anne in singles and doubles, and Hannah came through with a big in at No. 3 singles. We have a lot of season left in a short amount of time.”
The teams split the first eight matches evenly. The deciding match came at the sixth court during singles play when Lander’s Cayce Bradley stopped Madeline DiNunzio, 6-2, 6-0.