WILMINGTON, North Carolina – Mat Batts scattered two hits over eight innings and Steven Linkous had three hits and knocked in three runs as UNCW topped Towson, 11-2, in the Colonial Athletic Association series opener on Friday at Brooks Field.
The Seahawks halted a brief three-game skid with the conference win and raised their record to 18-19 overall and 4-5 in the league. The Tigers, who won the CAA title last season, dipped to 17-16 and 1-6 in the circuit.
Batts (3-2) earned his third straight win, allowing one run, unearned, walking one and striking out four.
Chris Acker (2-3) took the loss after allowing two runs in a limited start, after leaving in the bottom of the third with an injury. Kevin Ross gave Towson a strong effort in relief, allowing one earned run and striking out five in 3.2 innings.
Offensively, Luke Dunlap and Ryan LaGrange had two hits with Dunlap connecting on his first homer of the season. Linkous set a new career-high with three runs batted in while Casey Golden, Terence Connelly and Dunlap each collected two RBI's on the game.
Up next: The series continues on Saturday with a 2 p.m. start.
How it happened: Towson scored first with a run in the second, but UNCW answered with two in the third and exploded for five in the fourth to take a 7-1 lead. In the fourth inning Golden fueled the outburst with a bases-loaded double that scored two and Connelly followed with a RBI ground out to cap the inning.
Inside the box score: UNCW scored 6-of-7 runners from third with less than two out and went 3-for-4 with the bases loaded, including Linkous going 2-for-2 … The Seahawks also advanced runners in 12-of-20 opportunities … Towson was just 1-for-9 with runners on base against Batts and 0-for-3 against William Prince … Batts held the Tigers to 1-for-9 hitting with two out.
Notes: The win also snapped a three-game losing skid to Towson … Batts raised his career strikeout total to 304 and moving into second on the NCAA active career leader list … Batts is also one strikeout behind David Sandlin for third all-time at UNCW (278) … Batts lowered his ERA to 3.00 and has compiled a 0.78 ERA over his three outings and fanned 24 in 23 innings … Opponents are hitting just .171 against him over that duration … LaGrange owns a modest 6-game hitting streak while Golden extended his on-base streak to 11 games.