WILMINGTON, N.C. – Freshman righthander Jordan Ramsey limited the Tigers (21-27, 11-13) to two runs and six hits over 7.2 innings as Colonial Athletic Association-leading UNC Wilmington (29-18, 19-5) posted a 12-2 CAA victory over the Tigers in the third game and final game of their three-game weekend series at Brooks Field on Sunday afternoon.
With the victory, the Seahawks won the weekend series, 2-1. After falling to Towson by 3-1 on Friday night, UNCW bounced back with an 11-2 victory on Saturday.
Ramsey, who did not walk anyone and struck out four, upped his record to 4-3. After pitching 7.2 innings, he turned the game over to the UNCW bullpen.
In the bottom of the first inning, the Seahawks took an early 2-0 lead. Senior catcher Matt Campbell led off with a single to centerfield. With one out, senior centerfielder Andrew Cain drew a walk. Both runners moved into scoring position when first baseman Hunter Ridge grounded out to first base. With two outs, senior leftfielder Thomas Pope tripled to left field, driving in two runs. Junior righthander Mike Volpe retired third baseman Matt Keeler on a ground ball to end the inning.
The Seahawks added another run in the second inning when senior shortstop Jake Koenig led off with a single. After he stole second base, he advanced to third on an infield ground ball. A sacrifice fly by second baseman Michael Bass scored Koenig to make it a 3-0 lead.
Junior third baseman Zach Fisher led off the top of the third inning with a double to centerfield. Senior centerfielder Ben Winter followed with an RBI single to centerfield, scoring Fisher to cut the Tigers’ deficit to 3-1. Sophomore shortstop Hunter Bennett lined a single to rightfield. When junior rightfielder Tyler Molinaro made an error, Winter and Bennett moved into scoring position. After freshman first baseman Brendan Butler lined out to third base, sophomore second baseman Pat Fitzgerald grounded into a force play. Bennett was retired at third base while Winter scored to make it a 3-2 game. But, the Tigers couldn’t get any closer as sophomore rightfielder Dominic Fratantuono grounded out to second base.
In the bottom of the third inning, senior righthander Tyler Austin came in to relieve Volpe. Austin, who earned a save in the series opener on Friday night, wasn’t nearly as sharp on Sunday afternoon. For the second game in a row, Cain launched a home run to give the Seahawks a 4-2 lead. Later in the inning, Pope blasted a solo homer over the left field fence for a 5-2 advantage.
The Seahawks added another run in the fourth inning when Cain was hit by a pitch with two outs. Ridge followed with an RBI double to increase the lead to 6-2. In the sixth inning, Koenig led off with an infield single and reached second base on a throwing error by Fisher, the third baseman. He reached third base on an infield ground ball and scored an unearned run on a passed ball. After Austin issued back-to-back walks, freshman righthander Paul Beers relieved him. Beers pitched out of the jam by striking out Molinaro while junior catcher Andrew Parker threw out Bass trying to steal second base.
In the sixth inning, the Seahawks loaded the bases with two outs on a single by Ridge and walks to Koenig and Keeler. Freshman designated hitter Corey Dick cleared the bases with a three-run double down the rightfield line, giving UNCW a 10-2 advantage. When Bass lined an RBi single to right, Dick scored to give the Seahawks a 11-2 lead.
Facing junior righthander Mike Bronakoski in the eighth inning, the Seahawks added to their lead. After a walk to Dick, pinch hitter Luke Dunlap came through with an RBI double with two outs, upping the advantage to 12-2. Bronakoski stranded Dunlap at second base when he struck out Josh Abshire.
Pope led the Seahawks’ 13-hit attack with three hits and three runs batted in. He had a two-run triple and a solo home run. Koenig also had a pair of hits and scored three runs.
The Tigers were held to one earned run and six hits by Ramsey and two relief pitchers. Tyler DeLoach and Ricky Holden shut out Towson over the final 1.1 innings. The three Seahawk pitchers combined to issue only one walk and strike out five. When pinch hitter Mike Draper walked with two outs in the ninth inning, it was only the second walk issued by UNCW pitchers in the weekend series.
Fratantuono led the Tigers with two base hits.
The Tigers, who have played seven consecutive road games, return to Schuerholz Park on Tuesday when they host Maryland Eastern Shore in a non-conference game at 3:30 p.m.