NCA&T Aggies Get Offensive, Win Second Straight

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GREENSBORO – According to North Carolina A&T baseball coach Ben Hall, the Aggies broke the ice Friday evening. The Aggies had three players post perfect days at the plate while also putting together their best hitting performance in 48 games as they defeated Maryland Eastern Shore 17-9 at War Memorial Stadium.  N.C. A&T’s ice breaking came about because it was the first game of the 2017 season where they had offensive success coupled with winning.

N.C. A&T is 2-3 on the season.

“When you starting going 0-for in the win category to open the season and you haven’t played with offensive success yet, you start pressing. But when you start swinging the bats and winning some ballgames you start linking those two things together,” said Hall. “That creates confidence because you finally break the ice. You are able to kind of get off the egg shells a little bit.”

Hall’s team was playing the first game of a three-game series against the Hawks at WMS. Game 2 is Saturday at 3 p.m., and the series finale is Sunday at 1 p.m. One of the Aggies breaking through on Friday was two-time All-MEAC standout Adan Ordonez. Ordonez went 4-for-4 with three runs scored and a career-high seven RBI. His batting average jumped 168 points to .368 after his performance.

“That’s the Adan Ordonez we all know,” said Hall. “It was good to get the bats going to relieve the pressure off the team offensively and set the tone for the weekend.”

Greensboro natives Greg White and Myles Sowell joined in on the perfection. White was 4-for-4 with four runs scored and an RBI, Sowell went 5-for-5 with three runs scored and an RBI. Hall said he has been pleased with the way Sowell, the Aggies No. 9 hitter, has been able to “flip the lineup” by getting on base for the Aggies top of the order.

The Aggies led 9-2 going into the visitor’s sixth inning. The Hawks (0-4) got back into the game by scoring three runs in the sixth. Sowell then helped the Aggies build a big lead in their half of the sixth by once again getting the Aggies to the top of their lineup with a man on base. Sowell singled to left to open the sixth, which was followed by a White single through the right side. After a Milton Rivera popped out to second, Ordonez launched a double off the left-center field wall to score Sowell and White.

Ordonez moved to third on a wild pitch and MDES reliever Marty Tolson then hit senior first baseman Kyle Clary with a pitch to place runners on first and third. Freshman Camden Williamson sent Ordonez home on an RBI single to left center for a 12-5 Aggies lead. Tolson loaded the bases by walking senior Timothy Ravare. Ravare’s hustle helped the Aggies keep the bases loaded as sophomore Dawnoven Smith hit a groundball to second.

Ravare beat Joey Nicastro’s throw to short as Smith reached and Clary scored. Redshirt sophomore A.J. Hunt walked to force in another Aggies run before Sowell returned to the plate to get the Aggies back to the top of the lineup in good shape by singling to score Ravare for a 15-5 Aggies lead. The inning started with Sowell and ended Sowell as Jason King hit a pinch-hit single to left to bring home Hunt and Smith for a 17-5 lead. But Sowell was thrown out at the plate by Jordan Martin at shortstop.

The Aggies’ six-hit inning led to a 20-hit night for the Aggies, the most hits they have had a game since beating Iona College 14-13 on March 5, 2016.

Aggies starting right-hand pitcher Marcello Betances (1-1) got the winning after striking out four over five innings. MDES’ Chris Melrath (0-2) took the loss.

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