Extra effort gives UNCW momentum heading into crucial weekend series
Published: Thursday, April 12, 2012
Updated: Wednesday, April 11, 2012 01:04
The UNC Wilmington baseball team pulled off a thrilling, extra-inning victory over Coastal Carolina, Tuesday night by the score of 5-4.
Down by two runs in the eighth inning, the Seahawks got an RBI single from first baseman Hunter Ridge (2-4, RBI), and then leftfielder Thomas Pope (2-4, 2 RBI) drove in the tying run on a sacrifice fly.
After getting two shutout innings from Tom Timoney out of the bullpen, Jake Koenig knocked a groundball through the left side of the infield, which allowed Pope to score the game-winning run in the 10th inning. The RBI from Koenig was his second game-ending RBI in the past 10 days.
“I knew the last couple of at bats he (pitcher) went inside on me,” said Koenig, who was 0-4 in his previous four plate appearances. “I was ready for it early in the at bat, and even though I didn’t barrel it up well, it still found a hole.”
For UNCW, coach Mark Scalf decided to use a bunch of pitchers instead of having the starter work five or six innings. Kelly Secrest got the start for the Seahawks and allowed no runs and only one hit.
“We have a number of guys in the bullpen that need to get some work,” said Scalf, whose team is now 17-15. “We felt like Secrest had been throwing the ball really well for us, and if we could roll him out as our starter, he would give us three solid innings.”
After Secrest threw his three innings, UNCW used five other pitchers to help win the game. The team got three shutout innings from sophomore Ricky Holden, who only allowed two hits.
“This was a big win. Any mid-week game going into a big conference series, especially Hofstra, is really important,” Holden said. “I thought we threw the ball really well tonight. We stayed ahead of the hitters and we got groundballs when we needed them. We really picked each other up when we needed it.”
UNCW travels to Charleston Southern tomorrow afternoon before returning to Brooks Field for a crucial series against Hofstra. UNCW currently leads the CAA, but Hofstra is only one game behind. Game one of the series is set for Friday night at 6:30 p.m.