Seahawks Complete Sweep of Rams With 6-5 Victory
Courtesy: UNCW Athletic Communications
The Seahawks, who extended their winning streak to 20 games, improved to 21-4 overall and 12-0 in the CAA. The Rams, meanwhile, dropped their second straight one-run game and fell to 5-19 and 0-8 in the circuit. The win also pushed UNCW’s road winning streak to nine, tops in the nation.
Senior reliever Allen Flood improved to 3-0 with the win while freshman Stephen Harrold collected his fourth save, setting the Rams down in order in the ninth. Senior starter Jeff Hatcher didn’t figure in the decision, but set a season-high with seven strikeouts in seven innings of 5-hit baseball.
Aaron Morgan (0-3) allowed one run on four hits and a walk in 2 1/3 innings of relief for the Rams.
Senior outfielder Mark Carver led a 13-hit Seahawk offense, going 2-for-5 with three runs batted in. Six Seahawks recorded 2-hit games.
Junior R.J. Schenk doubled in junior Jared Bolden, who drew a 2-out walk, to give VCU a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the first.
A pair of singles and a VCU error in the outfield allowed UNCW to even the game at 1-all in the fourth. Appel dumped a single down the right field line and with two outs senior Nate Hall lined a single to left and the ball was over run by the VCU outfielder, allowing Appel to score all the way from first.
The Seahawks chalked up three runs in the sixth, for a 4-1 lead, all scoring on Carver’s homer to left center off Deanne. Sophomore Rhett Miller, who went 2-for-4 with a double, led off the inning with a bunt single and moved to second on Hargrave’s single that deflected off VCU sophomore starter Phillip Deanne. Following a sacrifice bunt by Appel, Carver connected on his team-leading ninth round tripper of the season.
Freshman catcher Cody Stanley added to the Seahawks’ lead with a lead-off home run to right center off Deanne to extend the lead to 5-1 in the seventh.
After seeing Hatcher retired 12 consecutive batters, VCU opened the seventh with a hit batter and junior Chris Jackson doubled to left. With two out, sophomore pinch hitter Sean Holmes singled through the right side to knock in two runs to narrow the deficit to 5-3 for VCU.
Pinch hitter Nate Furrey doubled in sophomore Richard Gonzalez with two outs in the eighth to move the Rams to within 5-4. The run was the first earned run allowed by Roth in 22 2/3 innings this season. Evans tied the game with a flare single into center off senior reliever Allen Flood.
In the ninth, sophomore Mike Rooney started the rally with 1-out single and moved to second following ground ball out. Morgan intentionally walked senior Daniel Hargrave before Appel singled past a diving VCU third baseman, who deflected the ball past the shortstop and into short left field allowing Rooney to cross the plate.
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Notes: The temperature at the time of first pitch was 39 degrees ... Appel became the 13th Seahawk to reach the 200 career-hit mark ... He also extended his hitting streak to a career-high 13 ... UNCW equaled the best start in school history with a 21-4 mark ... The Seahawks improved to 5-0 in 1-run games and 7-1 in games decided by two runs or less.