A&T Baseball earns historic first CAA winTre Williams and Cameran Brantley record three RBI apiece. / March 17, 2023
The North Carolina A&T baseball program did not wait long for its first-ever Colonial Athletic Association (CAA) win. The Aggies earned a “W” on its first attempt Friday night at historic War Memorial Stadium. The Aggies got another big-time performance at the plate from sophomore Sabin Roane before holding off a ninth-inning surge from the Towson Tigers to win 9-8.
The Aggies have won four out of their last five to improve to 7-6 overall and 1-0 in the CAA. The Tigers have lost five out of six to drop to 3-11 overall and 0-1 in league play.
Roane gave the Aggies more of a cushion in the home eighth when he hit an RBI single to right center field to score junior TJ Ash, who reached on an error to give the Aggies a 9-6 lead heading into the ninth. Roane has started the Aggies last four games. In the last three, he is a combined 8-for-12 with three runs scored and two RBI, including a 3-for-4 showing on Friday night.
After Roane’s RBI in the eighth, the Aggies turned to sophomore Xavier Meachem, who has become the Aggies’ closer early in the season. But Meachem, dominant in his first three 2023 appearances, did not get off to a great start on Friday. He opened the frame by walking Towson lead-off hitter James Moses before giving up a single to Casey Bishop.
Meachem then loaded the bases by walking Brian Heckelman. Towson cleanup hitter Bryce Frederick, 3-for-4 on the day with three RBI and two runs scored, stepped to the plate. But Meachem struck him out on a 3-2 pitch for the first out of the inning. The second out of the inning came on an Elijah Dickerson RBI sacrifice fly that scored Moses from third.
Bishop advanced to third on the play and scored on a Meachem wild pitch to get the Tigers to within one, 9-8. But with the go-ahead run at the plate, Meachem earned his eighth strikeout in 4 2/3 innings pitched this season by striking out Jack Lawrence to end the game and earn his third save.
After the Tigers took a 2-0 lead in their half of the first, A&T responded with a five-run home first. With the bases loaded and no outs, junior Tre Williams hit a two-run double to right to tie the game at 2. Junior Anthony Hennings’s RBI sacrifice fly gave the Aggies the lead before Cameran Brantley singled up the middle to score Williams. Ash closed out the scoring for the Aggies in the first with an RBI single, scoring Brantley.
A&T right-hander Connor Blantz settled in despite giving up a run in the third; he eased through the second, fourth and fifth before giving up a lead-off single in the sixth. After getting Lawrence to fly out, RHP Jake Delisi replaced Blantz and retired the final two batters.
But the Tigers took the lead in the seventh thanks to a two-run double by Frederick and an RBI single from Dickerson as the game headed into the A&T half of the seventh with Towson leading 6-5. The Aggies reclaimed the lead in their seventh, highlighted by Brantley’s two-run single to left to give A&T an 8-6 lead before Roane’s added run in the eighth.
Luke Brown (1-1) won in relief, and Bobby Spencer (1-3) was credited with the loss in relief. Brantley went 2-for-3 with three RBI and a run scored. Towson had four players with three-hit games, and Frederick and Dickerson had three RBI apiece.