WILMINGTON, N.C. - UNC Wilmington's Thomas Pope lined a RBI single up the middle to score pinch-runner Cameron Cockman from third, capping a two-run ninth-inning rally and give the host Seahawks a 3-2 victory over College of Charleston in non-conference action Thursday night at Brooks Field. The Cougars fall to 40-15 on the season, while UNCW improves to 30-24. The two teams meet again Saturday evening at Patriots Point at 6:00 p.m. to complete the regular season.
UNCW staked an early 1-0 lead as Michael Rooney led off the bottom of the first with a solo home run to left center of Charleston freshman starter Matt Pegler (Greenville, S.C./Riverside). The Seahawks kept the Charleston offense at bay, as starting LHP Cameron Roth did not allow a hit until junior DH Kolby Epley (Yadkinville, N.C./Forbush) ripped a RBI single up the middle in the top of the fifth inning. Epley brought home senior 1B Greg Blake (Westerly, R.I./Lake City CC) who drew a five-pitch base on balls and proceeded to steal second.
The score remained 1-1 until the top of the ninth, when junior SS Jamie Holler (Rock Hill, S.C./USC Sumter JC) blasted a 1-0 pitch over the wall in right center for his third round-tripper of the season and a 2-1 Cougars lead.
With redshirt-senior LHP Owen Brittle (Cross, S.C./Florence Darlington Tech) on the mound to start the ninth, UNCW began to mount a comeback, loading the bases before Brittle could retire a batter. Robbie Monday led off with a single to shallow center and was replaced by pinch-runner Will Edgerton. Hunter Ridge walked on six pitches and Michael Bass reached on a bunt single when Brittle slipped fielding the ball. Junior RHP Heath Hembree (Cowpens, S.C./Spartanburg Methodist College) entered the game with the bases loaded and no outs and got Matt Holt to ground into a 6-3 double play, as Edgerton scored and Cockman, who was pinch-running for Ridge, advanced to third. Pope then lined the 1-1 pitch from Hembree up the middle for the walk-off win.
Brittle took the loss for the Cougars, who only had five hits on the evening, allowing the two runs on two hits and a walk without recording an out. Pegler tossed seven innings, settling down after the run in the first inning to hold UNCW to six hits and striking out three.
UNCW reliever Seth Frankoff picked up the win, allowing one run on two hits in three innings with four strikeouts. Roth scattered three hits over six innings, walking two and striking out three.
The Cougars will have a Senior Night ceremony prior to the final regular season game Saturday night against UNC Wilmington. First pitch is scheduled for 6:00 p.m.