UNCW sweeps Hofstra in Saturday doubleheader

Brian Carpenter, Staff Writer

UNC Wilmington took both games of a doubleheader this afternoon as the Seahawks finished the opening weekend of CAA play with Hofstra. Here’s how it happened:

UNCW 5, Hofstra 3

Landen Roupp was on the mound for the Seahawks in his fourth start of the season. The Seahawks fell behind, as a throwing error from Greg Jones allowed Hofstra’s Steven Foster and Vito Friscia to score. Mikey Reisner added an RBI sac fly as well to make it 3-0 for the Pride.

Seahawk pitching would combine to throw eight scoreless innings afterward. Roupp, Justin Walke and Clark Cota combined to give up just two hits and combined for a total of 15 strikeouts.

“I really just wanted to come in today and get quick outs and kind of let our bats get in rhythm,” said Walke.

The offense had a few chances with runners on base in the first two innings but wasn’t able to capitalize on anything. In the bottom of the third, Mason Berne hit his third home run in two days and his sixth of the season to get the Seahawks within a run.

After Ryan Jeffers tied the game up with a sac fly in the bottom of the seventh inning, Riley Zayicek had a leadoff single to kick off the eighth and, after a Levi Gesell sac bunt got him to second, Cole Weiss hit a ball into left field and Zayicek scored to give the Seahawks a 4-3 lead.

Cota struck out the side in the top of the ninth and the Seahawks were able to even the series and force a rubber match in game two of the doubleheader. It was Cota’s seventh save on the season.

UNCW 6, Hofstra 2

In game two, Gage Herring made his first career start on the mound after making six appearances this season out of the bullpen. Herring was able to give the Seahawks five innings and strike out four batters in 65 pitches.

Offensively, the Seahawks jumped to a quick 2-0 lead after a Ryan Jeffers home run over the center field wall in the bottom of the first inning.

“It always feels good to square a ball up like that,” said Jeffers. “Yesterday, I felt like we had opportunities that we didn’t take advantage of and today we were just trying when we got guys on, to pick up those RBI’s and we pitched really well all weekend,”

In the bottom of the fifth, Jeffers and Mason Berne combined for a four-run inning. Jeffers hit a two-run double, scoring Jackson Meadows and Greg Jones, while Berne hit his fourth home run of the weekend to put the Seahawks ahead 6-0.

With the two wins, UNCW moves to 16-7 on the season and 2-1 in CAA play. Hofstra fell to 10-6 and 1-2. UNCW will be on the road this week as they travel to Campbell on Tuesday and William & Mary for a weekend series.

Stat of the Day: Between the second inning of game one and the seventh inning of game two, UNCW pitching combined to throw 15 consecutive scoreless innings. The Pride was only able to score in two different innings.

Quote of the Day: “You got to win series in the league. We had our backs against the wall last night and I thought our players came out; one, excited about playing but two prepared to grind it out and do whatever they needed to do to try and win the series today and I thought our guys did a really good job with that in the first game to put us in position to close the series out and win the series.” – UNCW coach Mark Scalf