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ELON, North CarolinaTyler Molinaro drove in three and scored three runs and collected two hits as UNCW held off Elon late for an 8-5 win in non-conference baseball action at Latham Park on Wednesday.

The Seahawks improved to 24-10 with the win and finished off a sweep of their long-time rivals. The Phoenix, meanwhile, dropped their second straight and fell to 20-15 overall.

Ryan LaGrange added two hits and Luke Dunlap drove in three runs while belting his third homer of the season.

William Shepley (1-0) earned the win in relief while Kelly Secrest got the final five outs for his third save of the season.

Antonio Alvarez had three hits and Danny Lynch connected on a three-run homer in the eighth to lead Elon at the plate.

Starter Jacob Baker (0-1) took the loss for Elon, allowing five runs, four earned, over four and 2/3 innings.

Next up: The Seahawks return to Colonial Athletic Association action on Apr. 12 with a 6 p.m. start against visiting Delaware. Games two and three are slated for Saturday and Sunday, both are 2 p.m. starts. The Blue Hens (23-8, 9-3 CAA) enter the weekend in second-place by winning percentage behind UNCW.

How it happened: UNCW used the long ball on two occasions to take an 8-1 lead. In the fifth, Molinaro followed Luis Renvill’s RBI double with a homer to left to make it 5-1. Two innings later it was a homer over the center field wall by Dunlap that pushed the lead to 7-1.

Inside the numbers: UNCW left just five runners on base and put the leadoff hitter on base in 4-of-9 innings and scored in two of those innings … Elon stranded 12 runners on base and went 2-for-15 in RBI opportunities … Blaze Tart recorded seven ground ball outs and struck out four, just one out was recorded in the air during his four innings.

Notes: UNCW ran its road record to 5-4 … The Seahawks are now 27-19 against the Phoenix and have swept the season series in two of the last three seasons … Will Shepley earned his first career win, retiring the only two batters he faced … UNCW is now 16-2 when scoring the first run of the game … Michael Bass missed his sixth straight game with an ankle injury … Terence Connelly was hit twice and singled to raise his on base average to .465, second on the club … When homering two or more times, UNCW is 7-1 … In his last four relief outings, Ricky Holden has allowed just three hits and no earned runs over seven innings.

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