EAST GREENSBORO – North Carolina A&T lost both games on a Saturday baseball double against NC Central inside War Memorial Stadium in the opening weekend of the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference (MEAC) campaign. Aggies lost Game 1, 6-2 and Game 2, 6-4.
Aggies (5-13, 0-2 MEAC) made things interesting down in the second game.
They followed the Eagles 6-3, and went into the home seventh when they were older Camden williamson led by the turn by being hit by a pitch.
New Year’s student Connor button followed by a strike, but freshman Trevor Sheehan narrowed his second double of the ball game down the left field line to send Williamson to third. After senior Dustin Baber flew out to the right field, junior Justin Williams ran out an infield single to score Williamson and advance Sheehan to third when the winning race came on the plate.
However, the Aggies could not make money as a senior Shane Faulk knocked out and looked.
Central’s big fourth inning proved to be the difference in Game 2 when the Eagles plated five runs in the frame, aided by two errors from the Aggies who made three of the unearned.
In the first game, both teams had solid starts from the ace. Senior right-handed Michael Johnson for the Aggies and redshirt junior right-hander Austin Vernon for the Eagles.
Johnson (0-3) faced a complete seven-inning game that allowed six runs, four earned, on seven hits with eight strikes.
Aggies managed to run in the first half and jump out in front, 1-0, thanks to Vernon’s throwing error combined with a pass that made it possible for the second year Tony Mack to score from others.
From there, Vernon went on a tear, throwing 6.0 innings, allowing two runs, one earned, on two hits with 11 strikes, a cloud of career highs.
The Eagles (10-6, 2-0 MEAC) leveled the game in the fifth inning and blew it open in the sixth courtesy of a three-run shot over the right field fence from junior fielder Patrick Doran.
Aggies struggled from the plate in both matches. Sophomore Cameran Brantley came into the weekend with a team-high .390 that beats on average and runs a 15-game streak to reach the base safely. But Brantley went 0-for-8 in the two competitions on Saturday.
Aggies saved 10 hits, but stranded 16 runners on the base tracks. Sheehan was the only A&T player to record multiple hits with his two doubles in Game 2. Doran drove the Eagles through both games, going a total of 3-for-7 with home runs and team-high RBI.
The teams will play two more seven rounds tomorrow, March 21, at War Memorial Stadium, which begins at 2 p.m.