NEWARK, Delaware – Mat Batts went the distance and UNCW rode long balls from Terence Connelly and Joe Bertone as the Seahawks topped homestanding Delaware, 5-1, in the Colonial Athletic Association series opener on Friday at Bob Hannah Stadium.
The Seahawks improved to 21-20 with the road win and 6-5 in the league. UD dropped to 18-20 overall and 5-7 in the CAA.
Batts (4-2) won his fourth consecutive outing while striking out 10 and limiting the Blue Hens to a run on four hits. He walked one and hit one while lowering his ERA to 2.77.
Connor Hibbs (0-2) took the loss for UD, turned in an impressive outing himself. Carrying a 10.34 ERA into the contest, Hibbs struck out seven and allowed four runs, three earned, on two hits and three walks over 7.2 innings.
Connelly's second career homer came in the fifth while Bertone's two-run round tripper came in the sixth as UNCW established a 4-1 lead.
UD's Joe Giacchino held game-high honors with three hits.
Up next: Saturday's game has been changed to a noon start due to expected inclement weather later in the afternoon.
How it happened: The Seahawks took advantage of a pair of UD errors in the fourth to take a 1-0 lead. Steven Linkous reached base on a fielding error by Hibbs on a bunt and then stole second. Linkous advanced to third on a fly ball to right and scored when the throw sailed and bounded onto the warning track behind third.
Inside the box score: UNCW put its leadoff hitter on base in four of nine innings … Mat Batts allowed a pair of leadoff hitters to reach safely, but held UD without a hit in seven RBI opportunities … UD was 0-for-10 with runners on base … Batts ended four innings with strikeouts … Four of his 10 punch outs were swinging.
Notes: Batts passed David Sandlin for third on UNCW's strikeouts list with 287 … He raised his career total to 314 and remains second on the NCAA active career-leader list … Connelly became UNCW's all-time leader in hit by pitches with 35 … Over his last four starts, Batts has allowed five runs, three earned, with 32 strikeouts over 32 innings … Today was his first complete game of the season … Casey Golden extended his season-high on-base streak to 15 games … Corey Dick missed his second straight game with a leg injury … Linkous swiped his seventh base of the season.
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