ETSU committed three errors — two in the fateful inning — leading to five of the seven runs charged to Bucs starter Micah Kaczor to be unearned.
Kaczor, who suffered his first loss of the season, and ETSU reliever James Giambalvo held the Spartans to seven hits. The ETSU starter fell to 5-1 despite striking out seven and not walking a batter.
Jackson Greer went 3 for 5 with a solo home run for the Bucs, while Cade Gilbert added two hits. Greer’s homer, which came in the seventh inning, was his eighth of the season.
Corey Jackson (6-1) was the winning pitcher in relief of starter Phillip Sanderson. Chad Sykes earned his league-leading eighth save and lowered his ERA to 0.62.
Greg Hardison went 3 for 4 and scored twice for the Spartans.
ETSU fell to 28-15 overall, 7-8 in the SoCon. UNCG improved to 26-15, 9-7.
The two teams are set to continue the series Saturday with the first pitch scheduled for 11 a.m. Sunday’s finale is set for 1 p.m.