West Point, GA – UC Baseball continued their three game series on Saturday with a doubleheader at Point University. UC would drop game two by a score of 4-3, but would bounce back in the rubber match to take game three 5-2, winning two out of three in the weekend series.
Game two of the series began quickly as Kevin Pantoja (SR/Vega Baja, Puerto Rico) would triple to deep right center to lead off the game. Jesse Reyes (SR/Palm Springs, CA) would ground out in the next at-bat, but would drive in Pantoja, giving UC the 1-0 lead. Point would even the score in the bottom half of the first with a solo home run from Anthony Padron, making it 1-1. Point would earn their first lead of the series in the bottom of the third. Nathan Greene would single and advance to second on a sacrifice bunt. Jeffery Ginn would then single to left as Greene would come around to score, making it 2-1 Point.
The Sky Hawks would add runs in the fourth and fifth to take a 4-1 lead over the Patriots entering the sixth. There, Reed Spata (JR/Taylor Mill, KY) would single to right to start the innings. After a sacrifice bunt by Pantoja, Reyes would blast a two-run home run to left center, making it 4-3 Point. Unfortunately, that was all the offense UC could muster as Point would earn the victory in the game. The loss was credited to Manny Castellano (JR/Brooklyn, NY) as he threw 4.1 innings allowing four runs (three earned) on seven hits and two walks while striking out three. Reyes went 1-3 in the game with three RBIs and a run scored.
The rubber match of game three saw Point hit safely in the first three innings, but were turned away with solid defense by the Patriots. In the top of the fourth, UC would find the scoreboard first with a solo home run by Pantoja to make it 1-0 UC. Reyes would follow with a walk and a stolen base to move to second. After a sac bunt by Andrew Ramos (JR/Orange, CA), Bryan Benz (SO/Arlington, TX) would drive in Reyes on a sacrifice fly to give the Patriots a 2-0 lead. In the fifth, Reyes would go to work again with a two-run triple that scored Spata and Pantoja to make it 4-0. Reyes also scored in the inning on a RBI single by Bryan Benz. Point would score two in the bottom of the frame, but would be held off the rest of the game as the Patriots would earn the 5-2 win.
The win would go to Zach Hurley (SO/London, KY), who gave up no runs on five hits and three walks while striking out five. Nicholas Purpera (SO/Gonzales, LA) would earn the save as well, throwing a perfect seventh inning. Reyes finished the day 2-3 with a triple, two runs, and two RBIs. Benz also went 2-2 with two RBIs.
Head Coach Brad Shelton commented, "I am pleased with the weekend. Our pitching staff & defense was excellent. We did some good things in terms of execution & timely hitting. Point is a good club. A road series win to start the year is something to build on. I am proud of our effort, but it doesn't get any easier with five games at Perfect Game Spring Swing next weekend. Back to work Monday."
The Patriots return to action on Friday, February 10th as they take on Reinhardt University at the Perfect Game Spring Swing. This is the first game of five on the weekend for the Patriots. Game time set for 5 pm.
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