Six-Run Inning Dooms Seahawks Against Top-Ranked UNC Chapel Hill
Courtesy: UNCW Athletic Communications
CHAPEL HILL, N.C. – Dustin Ackley and Marc Fleury connected on a pair of three-run homers in the bottom of the fifth to fuel a six-run inning as No. 1 UNC Chapel Hill fended off UNC Wilmington, 7-5, in college baseball action on Tuesday at Boshamer Stadium.
The Tar Heels completed a season sweep of the two-game series and improved to 32-10 on the season. The Seahawks, who are in the midst of a six-game road swing, fell to 21-15.
Freshman Jimmy Messer earned his second win of the season, lasting a season-high 5 2/3 innings. Messer was tagged for five runs on five hits. Sophomore Colin Bates earned his sixth save.
Freshman Steven Davis (3-1) was saddled with his first loss of the season. Davis surrendered three runs in 1 2/3 innings in relief of sophomore starter Cameron Roth. Roth allowed three runs on six hits over 4 1/3 innings,a career-long.
Fleury led the UNC lineup going 3-for-3 with three runs batted in. Seniors Garret Gore and Kyle Seager each had two hits.
Red-shirt junior Matt Holt went 2-for4 for the Seahawks and drove in three runs.
After retiring the first 12 Seahawks batters of the game, Messer allowed a leadoff single to sophomore David Shambley and a walk to junior Robbie Monday to open the fifth. A sacrifice bunt moved both up and junior Mike Rooney drew the second walk of the inning to load the bases. Holt drew first blood for the Seahawks with a single through the leftside to score two. Freshman Thomas Pope knocked in the third run of the inning with a ground out scoring Rooney. Junior Ben Thielsen followed with a two-out, RBI single up the middle to make it 4-0.
The Seahawks immediately gave up their lead as the pitching staff struggled as the Tar Heels struck for six runs on four hits, all runs coming across on a pair of three-run round trippers. Roth retired the first batter, but allowed a walk and a single before surrendering a three-run homer to Ackley. Freshman reliever Steven Davis allowed a three-run homer to dead center field to Fleury and there went the lead.
Holt got the Seahawks back to within one, 6-5, in the top of the sixth with a sharply hit double to left that scored freshman Andrew Cain for this third RBI of the game.
The Tar Heels plated an unearned run in the bottom of the eighth on a two-out throwing error by Rooney for a 7-5 lead.
The Seahawks next return to conference play on April 24 at Towson.