Baseball rallies late, downs EKU 5-4

Brian Carpenter


Noah Powers/The Seahawk

The Seahawks celebrate following their 5-4 walk-off victory over Eastern Kentucky on Friday

Brian Carpenter, Staff Writer

Alex Royalty took the mound for UNC Wilmington to kick off his junior season after winning CAA Pitcher of the Year in 2017. After giving up two runs to Eastern Kentucky in the first two innings, the ace settled in and finished with a total of six strikeouts over five innings.

It took some late heroics, but the Seahawks were able to squeak out a 5-4 win.

“The first two innings were a little rough trying to establish my fastball and my stuff,” said Royalty, who finished with six strikeouts in five innings. “I had a lot of relief from the offense keeping me in the game and they allowed me to pitch ahead. It helps me out a lot and in the back three innings, I figured it out a bit and kept the hitters off balance.”

When Royalty went to the bench after five innings, he gave way to Justin Walke, who struck out four batters over the next two innings.

The Seahawk offense remained quiet for a good portion of the game, but a three-run third inning was the highlight and pushed the Seahawks to a 4-2 lead. Kep Brown, Cole Weiss and Mason Berne drove in the three runs for UNCW.

Eastern Kentucky’s Casey Collins, who took over for the Colonels starter Aaron Ochsenbein, shut down the Seahawks with a total of five scoreless innings out of the bullpen. The Colonels were able to even the game up in the top of the eighth inning after a two-run home run off the bat of Tyler Romanik.

In the bottom of the ninth inning, the Seahawks were able to get runners on the corners with one out. Freshman Noah Liles stepped to the plate.

He was able to hit a high chopper to the Colonels second baseman. As the Colonels were looking to turn the double play to send it to extra innings, Greg Jones hustled into second and slid head first, allowing Liles the opportunity to beat the throw to first while Zack Canada crossed the home plate.

“It was a big moment coming up there and being a freshman in that environment,” said Liles. “I was just looking for something over the plate and I was lucky enough to get it and drove the run in.”

Stat of the Night: Freshman Greg Jones, in his first game wearing a Seahawk uniform, made a big impact in his college debut. Jones finished 2-4 on the day with 2 stolen bases from the leadoff spot in the order.

Quote of the Night:

“I’m pleased with the way we approached the game. The guys played with energy, they stayed in the game, they stayed focused and they competed for nine innings.”- Head Coach Mark Scalf

Want to see a gallery from Friday’s win? Click here.

Staff Writer Brian Carpenter can be found on Twitter @bostonfan17856. Any tips or suggestions should be forwarded via email to [email protected]For video updates from The Seahawk, subscribe to our YouTube channel.