COLUMBIA, South Carolina – Sophomore Austin Magestro allowed one unearned run in five innings of relief and UNCW hit four home runs as the Seahawks powered past Rhode Island, 11-7, to advance to the championship round of the NCAA Columbia Regional on Saturday at Founders Park.
The Seahawks (41-17) enter the championship round with a 2-0 record for the first time in program history. The Rams (31-26), meanwhile, will face off with top-seeded South Carolina in an elimination game on Sunday at noon.
Magestro earned the save, his third of the season, going a career-long five innings, allowing two hits, one run, unearned, and four strikeouts. He retired the final 11 batters he faced to secure the win.
Hitting home runs were Gavin Stupienski, Zach Canada, Robbie Thorburn and Kennard McDowell while Brian Mims collected three hits. Canada tied a career-high with three hits while he and McDowell both drove in three runs.
The bottom of the UNCW order, Canada, Thorburn and McDowell combined to go 7-for-14 with five runs scored and seven knocked in.
Reliever Austin Easter picked up the win in relief to improve to 3-0.
URI was led by Chris Hess, Martin Figueroa and Jordan Powell, each finishing with two hits. Figueroa and Mike Corin both homered for the Rams. Corin's homer in the third inning game URI a 6-5 lead.
Starter Steve Moyers (6-7) took the loss, allowing 10 runs, nine earned, over four innings or work. Reliever Nick Johnson went a career-long five innings, allowing one run on four hits and a walk.
Up next: UNCW will play the winner of the South Carolina/Rhode Island game at 6 p.m. on Sunday. Junior righthander Cory Gantz (4-0) will make the start for UNCW.
Home Runs: UNCW – McDowell (off Moyers in the second inning, two on, one out), Thorburn (off Moyers in the fourth inning, leadoff), Canada (off Moyers in the fifth inning, two on, none out); URI – Figueroa (off Royalty in the first inning, none on, one out), Corin (off Easter in the third inning, one on, two out)
How it happened: Trailing 6-5 after three innings, UNCW took control in the middle three innings, outscoring URI, 6-1, for a 11-7 lead. Canada's three-run homer to left center capped a four-run fifth inning as UNCW jumped in front, 10-6.