PEMBROKE – Visiting St. Andrews negated an early 3-0 deficit with four runs in the top of the seventh, but home-standing UNCP erupted for 14 runs on 13 hits over the next two frames to topple the Knights, 17-6, on Wednesday evening at Sammy Cox Field.
The win put the caps on a 9-1 home stand for UNCP (23-10) who will drag a five-game winning streak into a key Peach Belt Conference series at Francis Marion (22-11) this weekend. The setback marked the eighth-straight loss for St. Andrews (8-24) who fell for the 11th-straight time in the series with the Braves as well.
UNCP got at least one hit from 10 different players, including freshman Victor Zecca who doubled and scored twice on a perfect 4-for-4 night at the plate. Aaron Parnell (2-for-5, 3 RBI) and Josh Haley (2-for-5, 3 R) each recorded a pair of doubles for the Braves, while Jordan Edgerton (2-for-6, 4 RBI) and Kyle Adair (2-for-5, 2 R) each registered multi-hit lines as well. Travis Holland doubled twice and drove in three runs on a 2-for-4 outing to lead St. Andrews.
After throwing just six pitches en route to recording his third win of the season on Saturday against Flagler, Patrick McMahon (4-1) needed just 11 pitches to grab win No. 4 against St. Andrews. Matthew Beauchemin (1-3) recorded just one out in taking the loss for the Knights – an appearance in which he also allowed four earned runs on three hits and a walk.
UNCP starter Connor Pratt struck out three and scattered six hits and four runs (one earned) over five innings of work, but was not awarded a decision.
A three-run double by Parnell with two outs in the third gave UNCP an early 3-0 edge, but St. Andrews sent its entire order to the plate in the sixth and capitalized on four hits and a costly error by the hosts to grab a 4-3 lead. The advantage would be short-lived, however, because the Braves would send 14 batters to the plate in the seventh and scored 11 runs on five doubles and four singles to tote a 14-4 lead into the eighth.
A sac fly by Max Gagnon, an ill-timed error and a costly wild pitch would allow UNCP to plate a trio of insurance runs in the bottom of the eighth.