WILMINGTON, North CarolinaMat Batts tossed his fifth complete game of the season and struck out nine, as UNCW opened up a key Colonial Athletic Association series with a 7-2 win over William & Mary on Thursday at Brooks Field.

The Seahawks improved to 35-15 overall and extended their first-place lead over the Tribe to 2.5 games with a 16-5 mark. W&M dropped to 31-18 and 14-8 in the conference.

Batts (9-2) won his team-leading ninth game of the season and allowed two runs on eight hits and a pair of walks. He pushed his league-leading strikeout total to 95 and dropped his earned run average to 2.82.

Tribe starter John Farrell (9-2) suffered the loss after allowing seven runs, five earned, on 11 hits over a season-low four and 1/3 innings.

Matt Keeler and Michael Bass led six Seahawks with two hits apiece. Both scored a pair of runs.

W&M’s Ryan Lindemuth led all hitters with three hits, including his second home run of the season coming in the second inning. William Shaw added two hits.

Up next: The two continue their series on Friday with another 6 p.m. start.

How it happened: Leading 2-1 in the fourth, UNCW struck for a pair of unearned runs in that inning before knocking Farrell out of the game with three runs on five hits in the fifth inning. In both big innings, Farrell was his worst enemy as he contributed a pair of throwing errors.

Inside the numbers: The Tribe landed just two leadoff hitters on base on the night and went 2-for-12 with runners on base … The Seahawks, meanwhile, placed 5-of-8 leadoff hitters on safely, including Michael Bass going 2-for-2 … UNCW scored runners from third with less than two out in 2-of-5 situations … Neither team loaded the bases … Seahawks hitters advanced runners in 14-of-27 opportunities.

Notes: Terence Connelly extended his on base streak to 20 games … He also was hit for the 14th time this season, adding to his UNCW freshman record … Corey Dick collected two hits in his return to the starting lineup (Apr. 28 at Towson) … Michael Bass posted his team-leading 19th multiple hit game of the season … UNCW skipper Mark Scalf improved to 296-191-1 all-time in conference play.