Zach Shields leads Diamond Hawks past Columbia 8-6

Zach Shields leads Diamond Hawks past Columbia 8-6

UNCW Press Release

WILMINGTON, North Carolina – Zach Shields sparked the Seahawks with four hits, including his first career home run, and scored three runs as UNCW erased an early deficit for an 8-6 win over Columbia on Sunday at Brooks Field.

The Seahawks ran their record to 11-5 on the season and 11-2 at home while the Lions dipped to 3-6 after splitting two games on Sunday. CU rallied to edge UNCG, 8-7, earlier in the day.

Ryan Foster (2-0) earned the win, pitching into the sixth inning and allowing two runs on five hits and a career-high tying four walks. He finished with three strikeouts in 5.1 innings.

Jordan Ramsey allowed just an infield single over two innings to nail down his fourth save of the season. He entered the game in the eighth and struck out the side.

George Thanopoulos (0-3) dropped his third straight decision after allowing six runs, on eight hits and four walks. He finished with eight strikeouts in five innings of work.

Terence Connelly was one of five Seahawks with at least two hits and belted his first round tripper of the season in the fifth inning. Gavin Stupienski, Corey Dick and Luke Dunlap, off the bench, had two hits apiece.

Gus Craig paced the CU lineup with two hits and three runs batted in. His first homer of the season, a three-run shot, narrowed UNCW's lea to 7-6 in the seventh inning. Will Savage, who also homered, and Jordan Serena collected two hits apiece.

Up next: The two teams close out their brief two-game series on Monday. First pitch is set for 4 p.m.

How it happened: The Seahawks trailed 2-1 entering the fourth inning when they plated four runs on four hits in the inning to take a 5-2 lead. Shields scooted across the plate on a wild pitch and one batter later, Dunlap scored Stupienski for the lead. Connelly then followed Dunlap with a two-run clout to center field for a three-run lead.

Inside the boxscore: UNCW pitchers allowed just one leadoff hitter to reach safely (an error in the second inning) … UNCW went 5-for-11 with two outs and scored four two-out RBI's … Foster limited CU to just 2-for-10 hitting with runners on base.

Notes: Whitman Barnes recorded two of the biggest outs of the game when he retired MaGuire and Vanderhook to end the sixth after UNCW had taken the 5-2 lead … Steven Linkous saw his six-game hitting streak halted … Stupienski pushed his on base streak to 11 games … With two hits, Dick now has a team-high nine multi-hit games … Ramsey now has 23 strikeouts in 13.2 innings and is averaging 15.1 strikeouts per nine.