WILMINGTON, North Carolina – UNCW rallied with five runs in the top of the eighth and held off Delaware in the bottom of the ninth inning to edge the Blue Hens, 5-3, and advance to the loser bracket championship game against William & Mary at 7 p.m. on Friday.

The Seahawks improved to 30-26 with the win and Delaware fell to 26-27.

UNCW reliever Kelly Secrest nailed down his eighth save by retiring all three batters he faced in the ninth with the bases loaded. Ryan Foster (2-3) earned the win with seven strong innings, allowing a run on five hits. He did not walk a batter and struck out two.

UD senior starter Connor Hibbs tossed a gem and left with a 1-0 lead. Hibbs stymied the Seahawks over 6.1 shutout innings, allowing four hits, walking for and striking out three.

Luke Alicknavitch (2-3) took the loss, allowing three runs, one earned, in an inning pitched.

Andy Austin had three hits for the Seahawks while Drew Farber added two. Corey Dick knocked in two runs.

Zach Lopes and Ryan Hartley had two hits apiece for the Blue Hens. Joe Giacchino homered, his second of the season, leading off the UD first inning.

Up next: UNCW plays William & Mary at 7 p.m. on Friday.

How it happened:  The Seahawks plated five runs on three hits and took advantage of a two-out error in the eighth.  Austin tied the game with a single and Dick plated the eventual winning runs with a two-run single later in the inning.

Inside the box score: UNCW stranded 13 runners on base … Foster did not allow a hit with runners on base and held the Blue Hens to 1-for-8 hitting with two outs … UNCW went 1-for-14 against Hibbs, who also did not allow a two-out hit (0-7) … UD was 1-for-12 in RBI opportunities while UNCW was 3-for-15.

Notes: The Seahawks improved to 6-2 all-time against UD in the CAA tournament … UNCW has knocked the Blue Hens out of the tournament on four occasions.