Tribe’s CAA dominance continues, beats N.C. A&T at home

RYAN GOODMAN // THE FLAT HAT William and Mary has maintained a perfect record in CAA series matchups this season. The team sits fourth in conference standings.

Friday, April 12 to Sunday, April 14, William and Mary baseball (25-11, 8-4 CAA) defeated North Carolina A&T (19-16, 4-8 CAA) two games to one during Alumni Weekend at Plumeri Park in Williamsburg, Va. 

After splitting the first two games of the weekend series, Sunday’s win earned the Green and Gold another Coastal Athletic Association series win, the team’s fourth in as many tries this season.

The Tribe entered Friday’s game red-hot after beating No. 6 Duke 4-2 Tuesday, April 9. The Green and Gold’s road win marked the team’s highest-ranked win in program history, simultaneously becoming just the fourth team in all of Division I baseball to strike out 12 or more Blue Devil hitters in a single game this season.

Despite its mid-week success on the road, the Green and Gold started slowly in Williamsburg on Friday. N.C. A&T came out strong, scoring three runs in the first two innings of the series. Senior outfielder TJ Ash carried the Aggies’ offense early on, driving in all three early runs for N.C. A&T with doubles in back-to-back innings. 

In the bottom half of the third, William and Mary closed the gap to one thanks to a two-run single by graduate student utility player Henry Jackson. He finished the weekend series with seven RBIs, carries a .318 average through 23 starts for the Green and Gold this season. 

In the top of the fifth, Ash struck again, driving in his fourth run of the day to give the Aggies a 4-2 lead, courtesy of a sacrifice fly to left field. Just a few batters later, an RBI double from senior outfielder Michael Logan and an untimely Tribe error resulted in two more runs. Then, in the next at-bat, senior infielder Devon Rodriguez drove the fourth run of the inning with a single up the middle, giving the Aggies a commanding five-run lead. 

On the mound, graduate student pitcher Alex Markus and junior pitcher Reed Interdonato combined for 6.0 innings, allowing seven combined runs while letting up nine combined hits.

In the bottom of the sixth, William and Mary’s offense came back to life, scratching across two runs of its own courtesy of a ground-out from freshman infielder Trey Christman and a double from freshman infielder Josiah Seguin.

Despite the brief defensive lapse from the Aggies, the visiting team wasted no time extending its lead in the seventh, scoring one more run after a wild pitch from sophomore pitcher Luke Calveric.

The rest of Friday’s matchup was quiet, with both teams failing to score in the final two-and-a-half innings. Senior pitcher Coley Kilpatrick was credited with the win for the Aggies, while Markus recorded his third loss of the season for the Tribe.

Saturday’s game started off much better for the Green and Gold. After a much-needed scoreless first inning by graduate student pitcher Zack Potts, Jackson hit a monstrous grand slam down the right field line and catapulted the Tribe to an early 4-0 lead.

 Jackson’s grand slam was just his third home run and 17th RBI after transferring to William and Mary earlier this year, but was more than enough to give the Tribe some early momentum. 

In the bottom of the third, the Green and Gold tacked on two more runs, this time courtesy of a sacrifice fly from graduate student infielder Luca Trigiani and an RBI single from freshman infielder Kevin Francella.

In the top of the fourth, the Aggies scratched across one run after a triple from Ash scored junior infielder Tre Williams.

Minus the single N.C. A&T run in the fourth, Potts put on an absolute clinic for the Green and Gold, throwing 6.1 innings while striking out three Aggie hitters.

In the bottom of the sixth, Seguin hit his fourth home run of the year, increasing the Tribe lead back to six.

In the top half of the seventh, faulty defense from the Green and Gold briefly gave the Aggies a glimpse of life, allowing the visitors to score two unearned runs with runners still in scoring position. Just pitches later, Aggie senior outfielder Camden Jackson doubled down the first baseline, scoring one more and cutting the Tribe lead to 7-4.

After Potts was taken out of the game, junior pitcher Carter Lovasz took the mound and silenced N.C. A&T’s hitters for the rest of the night. In 2.2 innings of work, Lovasz struck out five Aggies batters while allowing just one hit, and as the final out was recorded in the ninth, the Green and Gold evened the series up at one apiece heading into Sunday’s tiebreaker.

On Sunday, the Tribe bats wasted no time putting up a crooked number against the Aggies. Trigiani got the scoring started in the second with a single on a 2-2 pitch, scoring Jackson and giving William and Mary an early 1-0 lead. Segiun then singled moments later, driving in Trigiani for run number two. After scoring a run on a wild pitch and an RBI single from junior outfielder Lucas Carmichael, graduate student outfielder Ben Parker blew the game open with a two-run homer, giving the Tribe an early 6-0 lead.

In the third and fourth innings, the Green and Gold offense showed no sign of stopping. Jackson continued his unstoppable weekend at the plate with another home run to extend the lead to seven, and after senior catcher Nate Goranson got on base, Seguin drove in William and Mary’s eighth run of the game with a sacrifice fly to center field. Then, in the fourth, fifth-year outfielder Joe Delossantos struck his ninth home run of the year, further extending the lead to 9-0. 

Junior pitcher Nate Knowles dominated on the mound. In four innings, Knowles let up zero hits and struck out six Aggies hitters. Knowles, who finished 5-5 in his sophomore campaign, improved to 6-0 in 2024 with an incredible 1.52 ERA.

The Tribe tacked on one more run in the sixth thanks to another RBI double from Delossantos, and with just three innings remaining in the series, the Green and Gold looked more than ready to secure its fourth CAA series win of the 2024 season.

However, the road to the final out was nowhere near smooth. The Aggies scored runs in the sixth, seventh, eighth and ninth innings but still ended up falling short in game three. The Tribe took the rubber match by a score of 10-5, improving its conference record to 8-4 while keeping the team in solo fourth place in CAA standings.

The Green and Gold will host No. 9 East Carolina (27-8, 8-4 AAC) at home Tuesday, April 16 before traveling to face Charleston (24-10, 9-3 CAA) in another conference weekend series Friday, April 19 at CofC Baseball Stadium in Charleston, S.C.


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