|Diamond Hawks Find Another Way To Win It|
WILMINGTON, North Carolina – UNCW rallied from an 11-7 deficit with five runs in the ninth to slip past Georgia State, 12-11, and finish off a Colonial Athletic Association sweep of the visiting Panthers on Saturday at Brooks Field.
On the winning play, Luke Dunlap rolled a ground ball to third with the game tied and bases loaded. Josh Abshire, the runner at second, beat the GSU third baseman to the bag to allow pinch runner Steven Linkous to score the winning run.
The Seahawks ran their winning streak to six with the home win and improved to 17-7 overall and 4-1 in the league. GSU, meanwhile, dropped to 15-10 and 5-4. It was UNCW’s third win of the season in their final at bat of the game.
Scott Sarratt had three hits for the Panthers, who held a lead of 8-1 in the fifth inning.
Justin Livengood (1-1) earned the win in relief for UNCW while Aidan McLaughlin (0-3) suffered the loss.
Up next: UNCW hosts NC State on March 27 in a 6 p.m. start at Brooks Field.
How it happened: A single by Dunlap opened the ninth and he moved to second when Corey Dick was hit by a pitch. LaGrange loaded the bases with a single to left and the first run scored on a walk to Christian Wolfe. Farber followed with a RBI single off McLaughlin to make it 11-9. A bases-loaded walk to Terence Connelly forced in the 10th run and McLaughlin hit Michael Bass to tie the game at 11-all. Reliever Nathan Bates rolled two ground balls that resulted in force outs at the plate setting the stage for Dunlap with the bases loaded and two out.
Key to the win: UNCW reliever Kelly Secrest allowed two runs one earned, over 3 and 2/3 innings, allowing the Seahawks to get back in the game. The Seahawks scored two in the fifth, two more in the sixth and two more in the eighth to make it an 8-7 deficit. GSU answered with three runs in the ninth to take that 11-7 lead.
Inside the numbers: The Seahawks scored 7-of-11 runners from third base with less than two out … Both teams did well advancing runners with GSU going 16-for27 and the Seahawks 22-31 … Dunlap’s fielder’s choice RBI was UNCW’s only two-out RBI of the game … UNCW improved to 16-4 at home, the Seahawks were 19-8 in 2012.
Notes: Michael Bass now has a 20-game hitting streak which was extended in the eighth inning with a double … His on base streak is now at 26 games … Terence Connelly pushed his on base streak to 16 games and LaGrange to 13 … Connelly’s on base average during that streak is .567, while he is hitting .381 during that span … For GSU, it was their fourth walk-off loss to the Seahawks at Brooks Field since 2008 … In 2008 they dropped the series opener, 6-5 in 11 innings, on a balk and the dropped the finale on a RBI single by Mark Carver … In 2010, the Panthers were eliminated on Hunter Ridge’s two-out, three-run homer in the bottom of the ninth at the CAA Championship tournament … UNCW improved to 17-7 all-time against the Panthers … The Seahawks have now won seven straight CAA home series dating back to 2011.