McIntosh’s go-ahead blast clinches weekend sweep of North Carolina A&T
CHARLESTON, S.C. – Hogan McIntosh’s go-ahead two-run blast in the bottom of the sixth inning proved to be the difference on energy Sunday as Charleston Southern completed the weekend sweep of North Carolina A&T Sunday afternoon.
The 6-3 win gives the Buccaneers their first Big South sweep of the season and second series win of the conference campaign. North Carolina A&T (10-17, 0-6 Big South) was the first to strike in the opening frame after getting runners at first and third after the first two Aggies were retired.
Chet Sikes had a ball go up the middle and find just enough real estate for him to beat out a Peyton Basler throw to score Xavier Bussey.
Charleston Southern (13-17, 5-4 Big South) responded quickly, finding the tying run in the bottom-half of the first inning on a quirky play.
Hayden Harris came around to score on the second wild pitch of the inning with the bases loaded and Ajay Sczepkowski tried to score from second on the same play but was thrown out on a bang-bang play at the plate.
Much like Saturday’s affair, Charleston Southern starter Evan Truitt and North Carolina A&T starter Peyton Winebarger were able to settle in with neither team finding the board again until the sixth frame.
The Aggies came up big with two runs in the sixth to take the momentum in the opening half. Cort Maynard took an outside fastball to the opposite field just enough to clear the right field fence for a two-run shot, scoring Canyon Brown on the play.
Brown reached base earlier in the inning to bring on end to Truitt’s start.
The same narrative would take place for Charleston Southern in the home-half of the sixth. Trailing by two, Tyrell Brewer started the inning with a single to right center as Connor Carter answered the call with a single of his own to move Brewer to second.
Carter’s single would bring Winebarger’s afternoon to a close, setting up the rest of the sixth.
Brewer would score on a wild pitch before McIntosh got a fastball he could handle and took it out to left center for a go-ahead two-run shot.
The eighth stanza saw Charleston Southern pick up some insurance on Peyton Mills’ second blast of the series, this time a two-run shot that would also plate Carter.
Sam Massey came on in the seventh to hold the Aggies scoreless and handed it over to Connor Yoder to do the same in the eighth.
Yoder pitched the eighth and saw one batter in the ninth before Krishna Raj was called on to record the final three outs for his second save in as many days.
Zac Robinson (W, 3-1) gets the win for Charleston Southern after the Bucs hit the go-ahead bomb in the sixth. Massey and Yoder each had great outings in relief to allow Raj to pick up the three-out save.
Evan Truitt gets the no decision but was phenomenal in his start, going 5.1 innings and giving up just the one earned on only three hits.
Xavier Meachem (L, 0-2) gets credited with the loss for North Carolina A&T after being responsible for the go-ahead run in the sixth. Winebarger gets the no decision but shined in his start as well, going 5.1 innings and giving up three earned on six hits.
Meachem was charged with the remaining three earned in 2.2 innings of work.
“I give a lot of credit to Izz & his staff. We were much better in our execution,” said Head Coach Marc MacMillan. “Mac was terrific behind the plate and put a really good swing on the 2-run HR. We got a couple of good at bats late in Brewer & Carter plus a bonus in Mills’ 2-run HR in the 8th. Defensively, we ‘made plays’ to minimize innings and get off the field highlighted by Stew’s 4-6-3 in the 9th. Happy for our staff & players, and I appreciate all that came out to Nielsen Field this weekend.”
Charleston Southern will stay in the Holy City as it will play host to Mercer in a midweek single-nine Tuesday, April 5 and will stand as the second time the two clubs have met on the campaign.
The non-conference affair is set for a 5:00 p.m. first pitch at Nielsen Field.
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