MISENHEIMER, N.C. – A sacrifice-fly in the top half of the eleventh inning by Bard Bridgeman (Laurel Hill, NC) broke a 3-3 tie as the 18th-ranked UNC-Pembroke Braves escaped with a 4-3 extra inning win over Pfeiffer University in non-conference baseball action on Tuesday afternoon. UNCP improves to 8-0 on the year while the Falcons fall to 4-4 after three runs in the ninth forced the contest into extra frames.
J.J. Williams (Sicklerville, NJ) scored the eventual winning run on Bridgeman’s sac fly reaching earlier in the inning on a base hit bunt. After an Alex Pearce (Rocky Mount, NC) fielder’s choice and walk by Josh Haley (Fayetteville, NC), Bridgeman lifted the one-out, game-winning fly ball to center.
Pfeiffer trailed 3-0 entering the bottom of the ninth as a rare strikeout wild pitch sequence to Aarin Sharpe (Winterville, NC) put the first runner aboard with one out. Jon Gray (Granite Falls, NC) followed with a single to right and moved to third as the ball slid past the right fielder, who happened to be Bridgeman. Sharpe scored on the error as the Falcons got on the board trailing 3-1. Eric Shoemaker (Huntersville, NC) then came up clutch with the game-tying, opposite field two-run shot to give Pfeiffer life in a 3-3 game. The Falcons had the bases loaded with one out later in the inning, but reliever Braxton Lewis (Seven Springs, NC) got out of the jam with a fly out and strikeout.
UNCP struck first earlier in the fifth inning as Kyle Adair (Fayetteville, NC) delivered a lead-off solo shot to left for a 1-0 lead. In the eighth, the Braves added on two more runs on a RBI fielder’s choice by Keith Whitman (Elkin, NC) and bases loaded walk by Adair.
Lewis ended up getting the win tossing 2.2 innings of relief allowing two hits with three walks and three strikeouts. Luke Wilhelm (Lexington, NC) was tagged with the loss after throwing the final four frames. Haley and Williams led the Braves with two hits on the afternoon while Gray paced the Falcons going 3-for-4 with a run scored.
Pfeiffer gets back on the diamond Wednesday afternoon hosting Carson-Newman. First pitch between the Eagles and Falcons is set for 2:30 p.m. Live stats and live audio will be available through www.gofalconsports.com.
Click HERE to listen to Tuesday's Audio Broadcast (start at 5:50 to begin broadcast)