SAVANNAH, Ga. - For a second straight day, a late rally from Armstrong State University baseball comes up short as No. 21 UNC Pembroke picked up a 14-11 Peach Belt Conference victory over the Pirates on Senior Day Saturday at Pirate Field.
The Braves improved to 37-12 overall and 15-8 in the PBC, while Armstrong State falls to 22-25 overall and 5-18 in the PBC with the loss. The final game in Armstrong State baseball history will be played on Sunday at 1 p.m., wrapping up the PBC series with the Braves. Prior to the game, the Pirates will honor their Armstrong State Athletic Hall of Fame baseball players with commemorative rings.
UNC Pembroke got off to another quick start on Saturday, plating two runs in the first inning and getting a two-run single from Roberto Rivera in the second. Armstrong State's Ryan Patterson had an RBI single in the first and an RBI groundout from Stetson Smith in the second, but the Braves plated six runs in the third inning to build a 10-2 lead.
The Pirates got a run back in the fourth, but Rivera's RBI triple sparked a three-run fifth that extended the Braves' lead to 13-3.
Armstrong State began its comeback in the fifth with an RBI single from Spencer Harvey and an RBI double from Mark Felton, but Harvey was thrown out at the plate to end the inning. The Pirates put three more runs up in the seventh, on RBI singles from Zack Goble, Caleb Slaughter and Felton, that made the score 13-8.
The Pirates loaded the bases in the eighth inning when Will Hodges was hit by a pitch and Felton followed with an RBI single to make the score 13-10. The Braves pushed across a run in the top of the ninth, but Patterson collected an RBI single in the bottom of the ninth to cut the lead back to three. UNC Pembroke's Hank Simpson retired the next two batters, however, with two on to earn the save, his fourth of the season.
The Braves' Kyle Boraski improved to 6-2 on the year with the win, hurling six-plus innings and giving up eight hits and seven runs - four earned - while walking six and striking out three. Aaron Bentley (4-2) took the loss for the Pirates, giving up six hits and eight runs - seven earned - in 2 1/2 innings of work, walking three while striking out two.
Felton went 4-for-4 with three RBI to lead the Pirates at the plate, while Patterson and Goble each had four hits as well. Mike Warren's eighth-inning single extended his current hitting streak to 28 games. UNC Pembroke was led by Rivera's 4-for-5 day with four RBI.
Prior to the game, the Pirates honored their nine seniors in a pre-game ceremony: Tray Roberts, Caleb Woods, Nathan Ward, Ryan Patterson, Blake Turner, Spencer Harvey, Avery Fagan, Aaron Bentley and Nick Andress.