The UNCP baseball team ended their six-game losing streak and got their record back to .500 when they defeated the Bulldogs of Wingate University on Sammy Cox Field on Feb.27. The team tasted victory for the first time in nearly two weeks thanks to a collective effort from their pitching staff coupled with two multi-run innings.
“We knew we were going to the bullpen the whole day out…It was good to see them go out there and throw strikes and get ahead of guys and play somewhat defense out there,” said Head Coach Paul O’Neil.
After both teams blanked each other in the first inning the Braves would hop on the board first in the second inning thanks to an RBI single from Zach Ghelfi that brought Jarratt Mobley back to home plate for the first run of the game.
A single up the middle from Kavon Perkins along with a fielding error on the part of the Bulldogs the Braves took a 3-0 advantage after an RBI and a score off of the error by Wingate. The Black and Gold would tack on two more runs to their total in the sixth inning when both Mobley and Perkins hit home runs in the inning to bring themselves back to home plate.
The Bulldogs would be held scoreless through the first seven innings of the game until they managed to get their only run of the game in the top of the eighth when the bases were loaded, and the Wingate prevented the shutout with an RBI groundout that resulted in an unearned run.
“We got a good team. We’re not used to losing here, I’m definitely not used to losing, our kids aren’t used to losing. We’re practicing really freaking hard every single day and we’re going to continue to practice really hard and we’re going to put a good product out there,” said O’Neil.
Even though the Braves still sit in the cellar of the conference standings, coach O’Neil believes that this win could be the first of many as the team looks to find ways to play more complete games consistently as the season goes on.
“All phases have got to get better. Whether it’s pitching, hitting, defense, base running, coaching, it doesn’t matter. We got to get better at everything that we’re doing if we want to win within the league,” said O’Neil.