|UNCW Takes Opener Behind Batts, Bertone|
WILMINGTON, North Carolina – Mat Batts tossed seven shutout innings while striking out nine and Joe Bertone homered twice as UNCW blanked visiting College of Charleston, 5-0, to win the opening game of a Colonial Athletic Association series at Brooks Field on Friday.
The Seahawks evened their mark at 22-22 overall and moved to 7-7 in the league. UNCW is now 4-0 in shutouts this season. The first-place Cougars had their nine-game CAA winning streak halted with the loss and dropped to 31-14 and 10-3.
Batts (5-2) won his fifth consecutive decision while scattering six hits and two walks over his seven innings.
Taylor Clarke (8-3) took the loss for CofC, allowing four runs, three earned, over 4.1 innings. He finished with seven strikeouts while allowing four hits and walking one.
Bertone had three hits on the day including a single to go along with his two round trippers. Ryan LaGrange added two hits for the Seahawks.
Gunnar Heidt and Carl Wise had two hits apiece for the Cougars, who stranded 12 base runners.
Up next: The series continues on Saturday with a 2 p.m. start.
How it happened: The Seahawks jumped on Clarke in the first inning for three runs. Steven Linkous opened the inning with an infield hit and scored on Luke Dunlap’s double to right. Bertone followed with a homer to right center to make it 3-0.
Inside the box score: Both teams combined to go 2-for-17 in RBI situations … UNCW pitchers allowed just two hits with runners on base … Both teams also combined to strikeout 21 times on the night.
Notes: Batts lowered his ERA to 2.54 on the season … In conference play, Batts owns a 5-0 record and a 1.38 ERA, he’s holding opponents to a .185 batting average and struck out 51 in 45.2 innings … Casey Golden had his 17-game on base streak halted … UNCW improved to 6-5 all-time against Charleston and 5-1 at Brooks Field.