Diamond Hawks Take Series With 8-7 Win
Courtesy: UNCW Athletic Communications
WILMINGTON, North Carolina - Reliever Ricky Holden gave the Seahawks four strong innings out of the bullpen allowing UNCW to rally for an 8-7 win over James Madison to win the series on Saturday in Colonial Athletic Association baseball action at Brooks Field.
The Seahawks improved to 5-9 and 2-0 in the CAA. The Dukes, meanwhile, dropped their fourth straight and fell to 5-10-1 and 0-2.
Neither starter was effective as the teams combined for 11 runs in the first five innings with the Seahawks scoring twice in the fifth to take a 6-5 lead.
Holden, who picked up his first career save, struck out three in a career-long four inning relief stint of UNCW starter Mat Batts (1-2). Batts picked up his first win of the season and fanned six over five innings.
JMU reliever Michael Howerton (0-1) was tagged with the loss after allowing both runs in the fifth.
Trailing 5-4 in the fifth, the Seahawks rallied with two out to take the lead. Hunter Ridge, who finished with three hits, doubled and moved to third on a balk. Thomas Pope followed with a triple to center and scored one batter later on a wild pitch by Howerton for a 6-5 lead.
UNCW added to its lead in the seventh on a two-out, two-run double to right by Jake Koenig.
The Seahawks would need those runs as the Dukes cut their deficit to 8-7 in the ninth on a two-run single off the bat of Colby Roberts. Holden settled down and recorded the final out on a foul out to the catcher to end the game.
Connor Brown led a 14-hit JMU attack with three hits and a pair of RBI, while Cole McInturff and Ian Haynes added two hits and two RBI apiece.
The series concludes on Sunday with a 2 p.m. start.