The UNCP baseball team continued to battle back from a disappointing start to their season in dominant fashion against the Bulldogs of Barton College on Nixon Field in Wilson, N.C. on Mar.12.
They got their overall record back to .500 at 11-11 and ended a seven-game road skid with their 21-4 non-conference matchup over a quality in-state opponent. The Braves have now captured three of their last four games as they continue to build momentum ahead of a heavy conference portion of their schedule.
They racked up 16 hits, half of them coming as extra-base hits, used five different pitchers and scored the second most runs of the season with 21. The Black and Gold scored in six of their nine innings and recorded at least three runs in each of those frames.
Senior Luke Jackson got the Braves going on just the second pitch of the game when he hit a solo home that would be the first of four runs that they would score in the opening inning. They would match that offensive output in the following frame that featured three straight RBI hits earlier on the with bases loaded in just the first three at-bats.
After being held scoreless in the following two innings, sophomore Bobby Dixon ignited a six-run inning for the Braves with his leadoff solo homer in the top of the fifth. The Black and Gold would take of advantage of three Barton errors to bring home five more runs to increase their lead to 14-4 after five innings.
With a sac fly from redshirt junior Ethan Baucom, a solo homer from redshirt sophomore Conner Grainger and a two-out RBI single from junior Jarrett Mobley the Braves would add on three more runs to their total in the sixth frame.
They would go on to be held scoreless in the following inning but would score yet another trio of runs with a two-out walk from Dixon and a single courtesy of junior Zach Ghelfi would set up redshirt senior Kevon Perkins for what would be his second home run of the year that he drove over the left infield wall. The Braves would log their 21st and final scoring run of the day in the top of the ninth after Grainger was walked forced to home plate with the bases loaded.