WINGATE, N.C. -- Wingate broke a South Atlantic Conference record Tuesday night, defeating visiting Concord 17-16 in the longest game in conference history. Wingate erased a 12-1 deficit, rallying for the victory in a 5-hour, 26-minute contest. The Bulldogs improve to 17-8, while the Mountain Lions fall to 7-6.
Senior outfielder Thomas Spitz had a home run and six RBIs to lead the Wingate attack. Freshman first baseman Bradley Brown added four hits and five RBIs, including the game winner in the 17th inning. Junior outfielder Nick Triplett had a homer, three RBIs and two runs scored, while senior Bill Krebs and junior Tyler Simmons collected five hits, an RBI and two runs scored.
Chad Frazier had a triple and four RBI to lead the Concord offense. Brad Sullivan and Ryan Johnston had two RBI and two runs scored each, while Andrew Seigel added an RBI and three runs scored. Andy Szamski contributed three hits, an RBI and two runs scored for the Mountain Lions.
With the score tied 1-1, the Mountain Lions plated 11 consecutive runs. Frazier's three-run triple in the third made it 5-1, while Sullivan's RBI single in the fifth made it 9-1. Three more runs crossed the plate in the fifth on an error and two passed balls, making it 12-1.
Brown cut into the lead with a two-run double in the bottom of the seventh, while an RBI double from Krebs made it 13-5. Wingate would then load the bases in the eighth, bringing Spitz to the plate. He connected on a grand slam -- his ninth home run of the year -- to left center to make it 13-9.
The Mountain Lions scored a run in the top of the ninth to stretch the lead back to five. A sacrifice fly from Simmons plated the first run of the bottom of the ninth, while senior pinch-hitter Josh Clark added an RBI double. Spitz followed with a two-run single up the middle to get Wingate within a run. A passed ball sent Spitz to second, and Brown's RBI single tied the game at 14.
That would be all of the scoring until the 15th inning. An error, single and passed ball put runners on second and third with one out for the Mountain Lions. Seigel grounded one to second, and the throw home attempting to cut down the runner was wide, allowing the runner from second to also score making it 16-14.
Wingate had the answer. Senior DH Brad Cherry started the frame with a double. After a popout, Triplett lined his second homer of the season over the fence in right center, tying the game at 16.
Simmons started the bottom of the 17th with a single, then went to second on a sacrifice. After an intentional walk, senior infielder Blake Prince also drew a one-out walk. After a strikeout, Brown came to the plate with the bases loaded and two outs. He lined a 3-2 pitch down the first base line, driving home Simmons to end the marathon contest.
Junior right-hander Tyler Brown got the win. He tossed eight impressive innings in relief, striking out six without walking a batter, allowing two unearned runs on two hits, throwing 89 pitches. Brown entered the game in the top of the 10th inning. He worked around a leadoff error in that inning, stranding a runner at third. A leadoff single in the 11th would also reach third, but a strikeout ended that threat. Brown would go on to retire the next 13 Concord hitters. He also worked a 1-2-3 17th inning, getting a strikeout and two groundouts to setup the Bulldogs for the heroics in the bottom of the frame.