Diamond Hawks split Sunday doubleheader

UNCW went 1-for-2 in its doubleheader on Sunday, improving to 3-1 on the season


Zachary Kilby/The Seahawk

Matt Suggs (15) crosses first base during UNCW’s matchup with Dayton on Feb. 16, 2020 at Brooks Field

Noah Powers and Zachary Kilby

WILMINGTON – Overcast skies fit the mood for UNC Wilmington (3-1) Sunday morning as it took on Dayton (3-1) less than 24 hours removed from a Saturday night rendezvous. The Seahawks struggled on the pitchers mound, which led to a seven-run sixth inning for the Flyers. UNCW dropped that matchup 9-2. 

One of the bright spots from today’s early game was Cole Weiss’ first homer of the season. Unfortunately, that was about the only positive takeaway. Also scoring was Brooks Baldwin, who was brought in off an RBI from Jac Croom.

The pitching corp struggled to keep its wits, walking six batters in the sixth inning and allowing four of those walks in for scores.

Game two, however, served as a much-needed morale booster for the battle-tested Seahawks.

In a rematch of Saturday night’s closer, freshman Ron Evans belted his second homer of the season in the bottom of the first and all of a sudden, UNCW was out to a quick 3-0 lead against Bryant.  

“It means a lot being able to help my team like that,” said Evans. “Having hitters before me allows me to see what the pitchers are throwing, which helps a lot.” 

The game was a pitcher’s duel from there on until a Gabby Cruz solo shot in the top half of the fifth put Bryant on the board. That was the only run pitcher Blake Deatherage gave up during his monster day on the mound. The senior allowed just two hits all while pitching a career-high six innings and ringing up a career-best five Bulldog batters. 

“This being my fifth year, I try to lead my example,” said Deathrage. “I wanted to come out and attack the hitters and let my defense play behind me…props to those guys, they made a lot of plays.” 

An RBI-single from Baldwin in the bottom of the eighth allowed Noah Bridges in for an insurance run, putting UNCW ahead 4-1. Baldwin’s four stolen bases on the day tied former UNCW shortstop Greg Jones’ single-game record.  

Sophomore Will Liverpool pitched two strong innings, giving up only three hits to Bryant. The former third baseman could not seal the deal in the ninth, however, as head coach Randy Hood looked to the bullpen and called in the righty Adam Smith. 

Smith improved from his performance on Friday against Dayton and completed the last two outs for the Seahawks giving the sophomore his first career save. 

“It was a great weekend for baseball and for us starting off,” said Hood. “The pitching in the second game was outstanding…Evans, Bridges, and Baldwin set the tone for our offense. We have some areas to work on, but I think we are going to be really good.” 

The Seahawks host rival Coastal Carolina on Tuesday, Feb. 18 at 4 p.m. UNCW looks to improve to 4-1 on the young season.