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Diamond Hawks win fifth CAA title in program history

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Diamond Hawks win fifth CAA title in program history

UNCW Baseball/Twitter

UNCW Baseball/Twitter

UNCW Baseball/Twitter

Noah Powers, Assistant Sports Editor

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Following a week of stellar play, UNC Wilmington was able to win the Colonial Athletic Association tournament title as well as an automatic NCAA tournament berth, in its 7-4 victory over Northeastern Saturday evening.

Despite a 3-2 loss to Northeastern earlier on Saturday, the only loss of the week for UNCW (37-21, 14-9 CAA), coach Mark Scalf’s Seahawks made the trek to the program’s fifth league championship look easy. Here’s how it happened:

Wednesday

UNCW entered the CAA Tournament bearing a 4-seed to take on fifth-seeded Delaware in game one of the tournament. The Seahawks would go scoreless until the seventh inning when sophomore Cole Weiss would bring redshirt sophomore Kep Brown home with an RBI single. In the ninth inning, Weiss would once again bring a runner home, this time freshman Greg Jones, with an RBI double. UNCW downed the Blue Hens 2-1.

Thursday

Game four of the tournament would see the fourth-seeded Seahawks take on top-seed Northeastern. UNCW would dominate the Huskies, bringing in nine runs including three home runs from Weiss, Brown and junior Ryan Jeffers. Jones led the charge going 3-for-5 followed by Weiss who went 2-for-4. After all was said and done, the Seahawks took down Northeastern 9-2.

Friday

Game seven of the tournament would pit Elon against UNCW. Once again, the Seahawks would dominate. Weiss would go 3-for-4 including a single RBI in the third inning to bring Greg Jones in for the score. He was followed closely by Ryan Jeffers who went 2-for-4 on the day bringing in three runs.

“We’re just playing loose. We’re just seeing how we can really play,” said Jeffers to Star-News. We feel great about ourselves at the plate, on defense, on the mound, and we’re having fun.”

The Seahawks would soar passed Elon 11-3.

Saturday

UNCW took on Northeastern once again early on Saturday. And after going undefeated all week, a win for the Seahawks would have won the tournament outright. The Huskies, however, had other plans. The momentum that UNCW held going into this game would come to a screeching halt. The Seahawks would conjure only four hits. Ryan Jeffers was responsible for two of those. Jeffers was also behind the two RBIs in UNCW’s 3-2 loss to Northeastern.

This would set up a winner-take-all title game Saturday evening.

The evening game would see the pendulum shift, once again, in the Seahawks’ direction. UNCW would muster several home runs courtesy of Jones and catcher David Sheaffer. Jones would go 3-for-5. Weiss also had a two-RBI single which put the Seahawks up 5-4, a deficit from which the Huskies would never retaliate. Jones also had two RBI-singles in the seventh and ninth innings, for a final 7-4 victory over Northeastern.

“We just dropped it, played some loud music on the bus,” said UNCW pitcher Austin Warren to Star-News. “We got loose again and just came out and played Seahawk baseball the way we know how to do it.”

By the end of the tournament, UNCW outscored their opponents 31-13.

The Seahawks will now await the NCAA Tournament reveal show, set for noon on Monday, to learn their seed as well as what regional they will be a part of.

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Diamond Hawks win fifth CAA title in program history