Roupp rallies as Seahawks down Bulldogs

Randy Hood era starts off with two wins as Seahawks top Bulldogs

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Zachary Kilby/The Seahawk

Landen Roupp (14) before UNCW's matchup with Bryant on Feb. 15, 2020

Noah Powers, Sports Editor

WILMINGTON — In his first start of the season, junior pitcher Landen Roupp had a monster day on the mound, paving the way for UNC Wilmington (2-0) to top Bryant 3-2.

The Bulldogs (0-3) lost to Dayton on both Friday and Saturday and looked to snap their cold streak against the Seahawks on Saturday night to no avail.

Bryant jumped to an early 2-0 lead in the top of the third after a 2-RBI single from Jake Gustin brought Vincenzo Castronovo and Tommy DiTullio in for scores. That, however, was the extent of the Bulldog offensive.

Roupp, who spent time in the bullpen and as a starter last season, made his presence known tonight. The Rocky Mount native struck out 11 batters securing the win for the Seahawks.

“I had my slider on,” said Roupp of his performance. “I was able to locate that on pretty much both sides of the plate. It’s pretty easy to pitch when you have the confidence of the guys behind you. I wasn’t looking for so many strikeouts, but I’m glad they came.”

Following Roupp in terms of impact performance was third baseman Cole Weiss. The senior from Mount Tabor scored a run of his own while also bringing in sophomore Brooks Baldwin via RBI double in the bottom of the third.

Performance-wise, one of the biggest improvements from game one to game two was the number of errors from the Seahawks. UNCW put up a sloppy six errors against Dayton on Friday, but cleaned up on Saturday, posting only one. For Weiss, it was a matter of focus.

“We’ve just got to stay focused for all nine innings of the game,” said Weiss. “Never take a pitch off defensively…still wasn’t all clean tonight, but we’ve got a lot of work to do. It’s good to come out with two wins.”

Similar to Friday night’s barn burner, tonight’s matchup came down to one run. Still, head coach Randy Hood felt tonight’s performance was much more characteristic of his team.

“I saw us playing [tonight] the way I thought we would play most of the time,” said Hood. “Like I said, last night was uncharacteristic. Tonight, we played a whole lot better. When you pitch the way we did and play defense, you don’t necessarily have to hit it all the time. We didn’t really talk about it (last night) because it’s not a problem, it’s just something that happened last night…It was ugly but we got a win out of it and then we came back and played good baseball tonight.”

The Seahawks now prepare to endure a Sunday double-header less than 24 hours after a close matchup with the Bulldogs. First pitch is set for 10 a.m. against Dayton (2-1) followed closely by a 2 p.m. rematch with Bryant. The 2 p.m. first pitch will likely be moved forward 30-45 minutes to accommodate travel arrangements for the Bryant team.