UNCW beats Hofstra, gains cushion atop the CAA standings
Published: Saturday, April 14, 2012
Updated: Friday, April 13, 2012 22:04
There was no shortage of luck for the UNC Wilmington baseball team on Friday the 13th, as the Seahawks easily handled Hofstra University, 10-3. It was a matchup of the two best teams in the CAA, and UNCW came ready to play. The Seahawks took an early 3-0 lead in the first inning, and from there, they never looked back.
Tyler McSwain pitched 6 1/3 innings and gave up only two runs on seven hits. McSwain had all of his pitches working early and had command of both sides of the plate. He effectively shut down the high-powered Hofstra (18-14) offense, which was ranked fourth in the nation heading into play today.
“I was just working ahead in the count and down in the zone,” McSwain said. “They were aggressive tonight and wanted to swing the bat. I was just trying to fill up the zone, and the defense played great tonight. I’ve got to give the defense a lot of the credit.”
Offensively, the team was paced by junior first baseman Hunter Ridge who recorded three hits and drove in two runs. His RBI single that he smashed up the middle in the fifth inning was his 200th career hit.
“It’s a great feeling, obviously,” said Ridge, who notched his fifth three-hit game of the season. “But, more importantly we got the win, and hopefully, we can win the series tomorrow.”
Tyler Molinaro, Andrew Cain and Drew Farber all had two hits apiece to help bolster the UNCW attack, and shortstop Jake Koenig flashed the leather defensively numerous times on highlight reel plays.
It was a crucial win for the Seahawks as they try to distance themselves from the rest of the conference in search of their first regular season CAA championship since 2008.
“It’s not a must to win the first game, but it certainly helps,” coach Mark Scalf said. “It makes you feel a little bit better going into the next two days, knowing that it’s going to be a challenge all the way through the weekend.”
Game two of the series is tomorrow at 2 p.m. UNCW will send redshirt sophomore Mat Batts to the mound as they try to win the series, and extend their conference lead to three games.