Seahawks unable to pull off series sweep, drop finale to Hofstra
Published: Monday, April 16, 2012
Updated: Sunday, April 15, 2012 20:04
In a game full of solid defense and fine pitching from both squads, the UNC Wilmington baseball team dropped its weekend series finale to Hofstra University on Sunday, 4-2. Following the Seahawks 2-1 win over the Pride on Saturday, Sunday’s game again featured the two CAA teams struggling to find their footing at the plate and failing to put runs on the board.
“The difference was driving in runs,” said UNCW coach Mark Scalf. “We had two or three opportunities that we couldn’t cash in on. They were able to do that. Probably the difference today was not being able to keep their first two guys in the lineup off base. Those two had seven of their eight hits and set up their offense.”
The two Pride players Scalf referred to were shortstop Dalton Rouleau and right fielder Danny Poma, who finished the day batting 4-for-5 and 3-for-4, respectively. Rouleau finished with two runs and an RBI while Poma also gained a run. Both players had more hits combined with seven than the entire Seahawk squad, which finished with just four hits in 30 at bats.
UNCW used a quartet of pitchers on Sunday to fill in for Jordan Ramsey, who was a late scratch to start after becoming sick in the early hours of the morning. Kelly Secrest pitched 2 1/3 innings, allowing three runs on four hits. Jack Lane then came on for 1 2/3 innings and allowed one hit. The majority of the game was pitched by Ricky Holden who retired 14 hitters in 17 at bats.
“Jordan Ramsey was supposed to start today but was sick,” said Scalf. “We got Kelly (Secrest) who started for us on Tuesday and was in a position to hopefully get us off to a good start today. I thought he threw it well but, unfortunately, they put runs on the board early. I thought we pitched really well; we just didn’t drive runs in.”
Hofstra pitcher David Jesch had a fine afternoon, only allowing four hits and two runs on 24 at bats while striking out five batters, moving his ERA to 2.54.
The Seahawks received a jolt of life when Tyler Molinaro hit his ninth home run of the season in the fifth inning, driving in Michael Bass in the process, making the score 3-2 Hofstra. However, UNCW would not be able to put another man on base for the remainder of the game, giving the Pride their lone victory of the weekend.
Although they lost on Sunday, the Seahawks (20-16, 12-3 CAA) still won the weekend series over Hofstra (19-15, 9-6) and widened the gap between them and the second-place Pride in the conference standings. With five conference series still left to play this season, it will be important for the Seahawks to keep their momentum going as they vie to maintain their conference-leader status.
“I still like our guys,” said Scalf. “We’ve got a solid club. We’re in good shape, a whole lot better shape than anyone else in the league. The next couple of weeks will be tough on the road, both weekends. But in recent weeks, we’ve played fairly well on the road. I’m not concerned; it’s just a matter of keep trying to get better each day. We want to better at the back end of the season than we were at the start and I think we’re moving in the right direction.”