Two-Hit Gem By Hatcher Leads UNCW Past Dukes, 7-2
Courtesy: UNCW Athletic Communications
The Seahawks improved to 38-11-1 with the win and 22-3-1 in the league. The 22 wins in conference play ties the league record set by JMU in 2006 (22-8). The Dukes, meanwhile, saw their record drop to 31-15 and 18-7.
Hatcher, who remained perfect on the season at 6-0, posted his second career complete game and allowed two runs on two hits, walked a season-high three and struck out two. His only two hits allowed came in a 2-run fourth inning.
Junior lefthander Justin Wood (3-2) was saddled with the loss after allowing three runs on 10 hits over 6 1/3 innings.
The top four hitters in the UNCW lineup combined to go 10-for-15 and drive in six of the seven runs. Seniors Daniel Hargrave and Mark Carver collected three hits apiece while both homered on the afternoon. Senior Jason Appel, who also homered, finished 2-for-3 with a team-high three runs batted in.
UNCW jumped in front in the third, 1-0, when Appel knocked in sophomore Bobby Leeper, who doubled to lead off the inning, with a fielder’s choice.
After struggling against Hatcher for the first 3 2/3 innings, JMU broke through in the fourth with a 2-out rally. Sophomore Steve Caseres drew a walk and sophomore Lee Bujakowski singled to center to put runners at first and second. Freshman McKinnon Langston drilled a 1-0 fastball off the wall in center to score both runners and give JMU a 2-1 lead.
The Dukes’ lead was short-lived though when Hargrave homered, his 16th of the season, with one out in the top of the fifth.
In the seventh, UNCW plated three runs to take a 5-2 lead. The first two runs came across on Carver’s 20th homer of the season that scored Hargrave who singled to open the inning. JMU freshman reliever Turner Phelps, who allowed Carver’s round tripper, walked the bases loaded and senior Jes Snyder tacked on a run with a sacrifice fly to center.
UNCW wasn’t finished with the long ball as Appel connected on his fifth of the season, a 2-run shot off Phelps, to extend its lead to 7-2.
The series concludes on Sunday with a noon start.
Notes: The Seahawks have not clinched the regular season title since it’s determined by winning percentage ... UNCW would have to lose its four remaining CAA contests, while the Dukes would have to win all four ... With three home runs on the game, the Seahawks set a school record with 82 homers this season ... Nate Hall moved into the single season leaderboard with 38 walks (8th) ... UNCW now has a school-record 14 road wins ... Dating back to last season, UNCW has fashioned a 30-3-1 mark over its last 34 CAA contests ... Mark Carver moved to within one homer of tying the school record of 21 set by Bryan Britt in 1996 ... Carver is also one run batted in away from tying the season record of 73 ... Hatcher’s last complete game was a win over VCU on Mar. 10, 2007 ... UNCW’s last two-hitter was turned in by former Seahawk righthander Thomas Benton at Towson, a 14-0 win, during the 2006 season ... UNCW’s single season record for wins is 39 (2005).