|Diamond Hawks Clinch Despite Sweep|
HEMPSTEAD, New York – Four Hofstra pitchers limited UNCW to a run on six hits over two games as the Pride swept the Seahawks, 1-0 and 5-1, on Friday at University Field in a pair of key Colonial Athletic Association games for HU.
The Pride evened its record at 26-26 with the sweep and earned its first series victory over the Seahawks. HU moved to 11-15 in the league and remains in the hunt for the final spot in next week’s CAA tournament. The Seahawks, who now have dropped a season-high three straight games, fell to 36-19 and 17-8.
Despite the losses, UNCW claimed the CAA regular season title for the eighth time by virtue of William & Mary’s loss to Georgia State.
In the opener, Nick Kozlowski and Brett Schreiber combined to shutout the Seahawks on four hits, all singles. Schreiber earned the win in relief to move to 3-2.
UNCW starter Mat Batts (9-3) tied his career-high with 11 strikeouts in a complete game outing. He scattered five hits and walked none.
In the nightcap, HU starter Bryan Verbitsky (3-4) allowed one run on two hits and three walks over six innings for the win. Reliever John Tiedemann earned his second save with three innings of shutout, hit-less relief.
Joe Perez knocked in two runs for the Pride on two hits.
Next up: Both teams wrap up their regular season with a noon start on Saturday.
How it happened (Game 1): Jared Hammer singled home Kenny Jackson with the only run of the game in the sixth inning. Jackson singled to open the inning and advanced to second on a passed ball. Hammer then singled on the first pitch he saw with two outs in the inning.
How it happened (Game 2): Hofstra plated two runs in the fifth and two more in the sixth off losing pitcher Jordan Ramsey to take a 5-1 lead. Jackson doubled in the first run of the fifth and Perez followed with a double of his own to make it 3-1.
Inside the numbers: In game one: UNCW went hitless in seven at bats with two outs … Ryan LaGrange was the only Seahawk to reach base safely to open an inning, Michael Bass finished 0-for-3 … Hofstra’s only leadoff batter to reach safely (Jackson) would come around to score. In game two: UNCW remained hitless with two outs, going 0-for-8 … HU pitchers held UNCW to 1-for-16 hitting with runners on base.
Notes: UNCW has now won the last two regular season titles … The Seahawks are now 26-7 all-time against the Pride … For Batts, it was his first 1-0 loss of the season after beating ODU 1-0 earlier … His 11 strikeouts were his fourth career double-digit game … Batts raised his league-leading strikeout total to 106.