Seahawks Take Series Finale From No. 19 Clemson, 4-3
Courtesy: UNCW Athletic Communications
CLEMSON, S.C. – Cody Stanley had three hits and the Seahawk bullpen shutdown Clemson on two hits over the final 4 2/3 innings as UNC Wilmington upset 19th-ranked Clemson, 4-3, to salvage the final game of a three-game series on Sunday at Doug Kingsmore Stadium.
The Seahawks improved to 26-19 and snapped a nine-game losing streak to the Tigers, dating back to the 1998 season. Clemson, meanwhile, dipped to 34-17.
Sophomore Stephen Harrold (3-1), the first of three Seahawk relievers on the day, picked up the win with 1 1/3 innings of work out of the pen. Junior Bryan Booth earned his third save of the season, allowing just one walk and striking out two in a two-inning save.
Tomas Cruz (2-3) was saddled with the loss for the Tigers, allowing one run on two hits in one inning of action.
Wilson Boyd led CU with three hits while Jeff Schaus added two.
The Tigers too the lead when Boyd tripled to right center to open the second and scored one batter later on a ground out to second by Matt Sanders for a 1-0 lead.
After being held hitless for the first three innings, UNCW solved CU starter Chris Dwyer in the fourth and took the lead with two runs on three hits. Stanley tripled to right and scored on Cain’s single to left to even the game. Holt followed with a double down the right field line allowing Cain to score all the way from first with the go-ahead run. Stanley’s triple was his sixth of the season and moved him into a tie for fifth on the single season list.
Freshman starter Steven Davis gave UNCW the shutdown inning it needed in the fourth. Clemson started a rally with one out, with runners on first and second, but a great play in the hole by junior Mike Rooney recorded the second out of the inning and both runners were left stranded when Davis closed out the inning with a foul out to right.
Stanley’s second extra base hit of the game gave the Seahawks a 3-1 lead. Stanley doubled into the left center field gap to bring in junior Ben Thielsen, who walked to open the inning.
Back-to-back singles by Brad Miller and Chris Epps opened the fifth for Clemson. Schaus doubled to right center to draw the Tigers even with one out. Harrold relieved Davis and kept the game tied at three-all by retiring the next two batters to end the inning.
Rooney restored UNCW’s lead in the top of the sixth with a sacrifice fly to left. Holt singled off Cruz to open the inning and moved up on a fielder’s choice. Sophomore pinch hitter Alex Hill singled him to third for Rooney, who drove in the eventual game-winning run.
After being given the lead, Harrold walked Boyd on four straight pitches to open the sixth. He retired the next two batters before walking Miller to put runners on first and second. Freshman Ryan Walker ended the threat, striking out Epps looking.
UNCW loaded the bases in the seventh against reliever Ryan Hinson with one out. Holt, though, fouled out to second base and Evans was thrown out at the plate on the play to end the potential rally.
Clemson attempted to draw even in the eighth getting a man to second with one out, but junior reliever Bryan Booth was up to the task, retiring John Nester on a pop up to short and Miller on a ground ball to second to preserve the lead.
The Seahawks close out their regular season home schedule on Tuesday when they host nationally-ranked East Carolina in a 7 p.m. start.