The Seahawk

Valpo slam spoils would-be weekend sweep

Jones: "We've always got to be prepared for whatever happens."

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Valpo slam spoils would-be weekend sweep

Greg Jones (2) during UNCW's matchup against Valparaiso at Brooks Field on March 3, 2019.

Greg Jones (2) during UNCW's matchup against Valparaiso at Brooks Field on March 3, 2019.

Brandon Sans/The Seahawk

Greg Jones (2) during UNCW's matchup against Valparaiso at Brooks Field on March 3, 2019.

Brandon Sans/The Seahawk

Brandon Sans/The Seahawk

Greg Jones (2) during UNCW's matchup against Valparaiso at Brooks Field on March 3, 2019.

Brandon Sans, Sports Editor

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The Seahawks’ brooms were slammed back into the cupboard.

UNC Wilmington did not finish a three-game sweep of Valparaiso with a 10-8 loss on Sunday afternoon at Brooks Field. The Crusaders delivered a final blow late of a back-and-forth battle to end the Seahawks’ chance at their first sweep of the 2019 season.

Gage Herring (5 IP, 4 H, 3 R, 5 K) showed consistency and poised the Seahawks (6-6) have come to expect from the sophomore. He has now thrown at least 70 pitches in his three starts this season and has never allowed more than three runs in a game across 13 career starts.

“We’ve got a lot of confidence in [Gage] and a number of others,” coach Mark Scalf said postgame. “You roll him out there on Sunday feeling like he’s going to give you a chance to win in his outing.”

The Seahawks took advantage of the shaky command of Valpo (2-6) freshman Colin Fields who walked seven and threw six wild pitches in his second career start. Fields left without recording an out in the fourth inning and UNCW took the lead.

Third baseman Cole Weiss delivered with a two-out, two-run double in the bottom of the seventh to put the Seahawks ahead by three runs. Weiss finished the weekend with seven RBI and is hitting .326 on the year.

The Crusaders never went away, scoring a run in the sixth and seventh inning before senior Sam Shaikin’s grand slam capped a five-run eighth inning that buried the Seahawks for good.

UNCW left 11 runners on-base and their eight runs were more courtesy of Valpo’s errors than the Seahawks’ execution. The Seahawks went 4-for-17 with runners on and only 3-f0r-12 with RISP.

“We really didn’t have quality at-bats once we got men into scoring position,” said Scalf. “A couple more solid swings drop and we’ve got a chance to open the game.”

The Seahawks now prepare for a quick turnaround with a two-game weekday series against Toledo on Tuesday and Wednesday.

Stat of the Day: Sophomore Greg Jones tied a single-game record with four stolen bases. The last Seahawk to steal four bags was Steven Linkous against South Dakota State in 2016.

Sports Editor Brandon Sans can be found on Twitter @bsans10. Any tips or suggestions should be forwarded via email to bms8544@uncw.edu.

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Valpo slam spoils would-be weekend sweep